The Glow Up 50: Reckoning With a Racial Divide

The Glow Up 50The Glow Up 50Our annual celebration of the black tastemakers, trendsetters and innovators elevating the world of style.

A “racial reckoning.” It’s a term we’ve used repeatedly in the past year, and will no doubt continue to use until America’s structural failings with race and police brutality are reconciled, which...a girl can dream, I guess. Nevertheless, this year’s honorees of The Glow Up 50 have done far more than just make pretty things; they’ve fought back. Through coalitions, initiatives and alliances, this year’s honorees have made a way not only for themselves, but for generations to come—and we will be forever grateful.

As a nation, we are living through a reckoning. As a race, we are living through something all too familiar, yet within a so-called democracy still worth fighting for. It’s a paradox which has In the realm of this year’s TGU 50 honorees, these are creatives who remain innovative and keep us inspired. Most importantly, these honorees have invested back in us—financially, politically and creatively.


So, what does a racial reckoning look like in the realm of style? It looks like holding both individuals and institutions accountable; creating platforms for Black creatives, demanding shelf space for Black businesses, or more representation in the c-suite and beyond. Accordingly, many of this year’s TGU 50 honorees brought infinitely more meaning to the word “representation.” These honorees do more than represent; they demand recognition...and demand that we do, too.

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?