by Ariel C. Williams
More than ever, Black women are expressing their love of self, melanin and creation through graphic T-shirts, We’re able to make a statement and encourage our sisters without parting our lips or breaking a sweat. Graphic tees for Black women were once a scarcity, but now we’re using them to share our perspective on things like feminism, beauty standards and sisterhood.
Here are 10 T-shirt brands that unapologetically represent Black women.
1. Smart Brown Girl
Created by YouTube sensation and pop snarkist Jouelzy, the #SmartBrownGirl brand “celebrates the diversity of women of color.” The brand promotes brown women to take hold of their own realities and define what success means to them, instead of what society says it should be. Smart Brown Girls are encouraged to remain open minded, constantly learn and explore the world. Find your Smart Brown Girls tees, sweatshirts and mugs here.
2. Habitually Fly
Habitually Fly is a t-shirt brand that’s conscious, dope and fly. Here, you’ll find fashionable tees that acknowledge and propel your inner melanated Goddess for days. The brand is “dedicated to honoring African and African-American culture and heritage [while] celebrating our visionaries, entertainers, beauties and activists through apparel.” Grab a popular “That Melanin Though” or “Tupakra” tee for your collection.
3. Marriage Tees
The mission at Marriage Tees is simple: “to celebrate the couples who chose matrimony; and want to show the world how much they love their spouse!” Created by marriage and relationship advocates Lamar and Ronnie Tyler of Black & Married with Kids, Marriage Tees promotes and supports real love, commitment and what it means to have [Black] happy marriages. Your happy marriage tee collection is waiting in their online store.
4. Dear Naturalista
When dealing with curls, kinks and coils, the struggle is often real! Thankfully, the team at Dear Naturalista knows that. They’re sure to let their customers know that they, too, understand our wash day struggles, encourage slay-a-day selfies and support a Black woman’s desire for world domination. Dear Naturalista is stocked with statement tees, tote bags and mugs that highlights the natural hair experience. Stock up on your Dear Naturalista threads through their online store.
5. Black Action Tees
Just when it felt like all representation for Black women who love superheroes was lost, along came Black Action Tees. Superhero, action figure and pop culture lovers can indulge in graphic tees featuring Mr. Tee, Jules Fury, Dragon Fly Jones and more. Support Black Action Tees, LLC. in one click.
6. Hillman Bookstore
Hillman Bookstore exemplifies our love for historically black colleges and universities. Droves of Black professionals accredit their HBCU pride to the fictional institution, Hillman College, from The Cosby Show and A Different World. In addition to namesake tees, this Hillman Bookstore offers apparel doting handpicked HBCUs and college events. Build your collection of HBCU tees today.
7. Tees in the Trap
It’s safe to say that Tees in the Trap is a favorite brand to any pop culture, trendy tee, snark enthusiast, Beyonce-loving naturalista in 2015! The brand made its entrance in 2014 and has been making consistent waves since. Love brunch and mimosas? Identify with the sophistiratchet? Proudly proclaim to be ‘a lil’ bougie’? The Tees in the Trap store has you covered!
8. Own Your Blackness
“Black is beautiful. Own it,” is what the Own Your Business brand wants you to know and do. Their tees are fun, trendy and celebrate the fullness of blackness in spite of how the media portrays us. Stock up on Own Your Blackness tees before the holidays.
9. Keep Chasing the Stars
There’s nothing more dangerous than a Black woman proclaiming that she is the new American dream. The folks over at Keep Chasing the Stars believe this with a passion and dare you to believe it, too. Check out their website to cop a hoodie or a tee, and learn about the lifestyle movement that encourages dreamers to become doers.
10. Black Girls Are Magic Tees
Sometimes, all you need is a single message to start a movement. CaShawn Thompson, a.k.a Auntie Pebbz (@thepbg) understood this and created the infamous Black Girls Are Magic t-shirt brand that has the Internet ablaze. The movement is supported by thousands as documented by hashtag #BlackGirlsAreMagic. Regardless of a recent snafu, the brand is here to stay and stands to grow even stronger in the future. Grab your tank, tee or hoodie before they’re sold out.
Photo: Black Action Tees / Habitually Fly
Ariel C. Williams is an entrepreneur, freelance writer and author of The Girl Talk Chronicles: Advice on How to Manage Love, Lust & Situations (Amazon). Talk about life, love and goals with her on Twitter @ArielSaysNow or her blog.