Constance C.R. White’s new book, How to Slay: Inspiration From the Kings & Queens of Black Style, is well worth the read. White, an award-winning journalist who has served as editor of the New York Times Style section, Elle, Essence and, most recently, Zinc magazine, has now set her sights on documenting something unquantifiable and truly enigmatic: the collective and oft-imitated style of black culture.

White’s vision is based as much on sociopolitical portraits of different eras as it is on the visually stunning style of black stars ranging from Isaac Hayes to Pharrell, and Josephine Baker to Beyoncé.

The foreword of the book, written by Valerie Steele, chief curator of the museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, raises the question: Why does America love black style so much, but a black man can get thrown in jail—or worse—just for wearing a hoodie?

Rizzoli Publishing

How to Slay is a premier and comprehensive study of black style, diving into trends that have become synonymous with the contemporary fashion world.

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White took a moment out of her busy book tour to talk to The Glow Up about how and why our style not only shapes but also shifts the culture. Check out her interview in the video above.