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Leading by example: Photographer styles daughter like historic black women

 / Updated  / Source: TODAY

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Photographer Marc Bushelle and his wife, Janine Harper, were looking for a way to teach their 5-year-old daughter about important black women in history ... when they realized that they might already have the tools they needed: his camera and her creativity.

The photo series that resulted from their collective brainstorming, aptly titled "The Heroines Project,” was inspired by the work of Jaime Moore, another photographer.

Bushelle and his wife, who live in Brooklyn, New York, went through thrift shops for props; then, they dressed up their daughter Lily like different historically important women.

"We hope that by making these associations early we will instill a strong pride in her that will fortify her against any discrimination she may face in the future," Harper told NPR.

Topics like injustice and racism aren’t easy to talk about with kids, but these parents seem to be making it work.

“It is always challenging when trying to explain complex things to a child. I feel that turning a history lesson into a dress-up game is a good way to approach it.”

Check out some of our favorite photos from Bushelle's project below, and see more on his website.

TODAY
Lily dresses up as Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman to pilot a plane in the United States.National Air and Space Museum / Public Domain / Marc Bushelle Photography
TODAY
Lily dresses up as Grace Jones, a Jamaican singer, model and actress.Gavin Bond / Marc Bushelle Photography
TODAY
Lily dresses up as Michelle J. Howard, who became the highest-ranking black woman in the military in 2014.US Navy / Public Domain / Marc Bushelle Photography
TODAY
Lilly dresses up as Josephine Baker, the famous French singer, dancer and actress.Popperfoto / Getty Images / Marc Bushelle Photography
TODAY
Lily dresses up as Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison.Timothy Greenfield-Sanders / Marc Bushelle Photography
TODAY
Lily dresses up as Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman ever accepted to train as an astronaut with NASA.NASA / Public Domain / Marc Bushelle Photography

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