Mom dresses 5-year-old as Black trailblazers so she'll 'learn to love all of herself'
A Michigan mother hopes to instill confidence in her child by helping her dress as people who broke barriers in honor of Black History Month.
Grand Rapids' Taylor Trotter and her 5 year old daughter Paisley made it an annual project for Paisley to portray an influential person of color every day in February.
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"I am white and she is biracial and I have to make a conscious effort that she loves whoever she is," Trotter told Good Morning America. "She has to love how God made her and that she loves herself and not just what came from me."
Trotter said the couple's Black History Month photo idea was sparked after Paisley asked to dress up for Halloween as civil rights activist Ruby Bridges, who made history in 1960 as one of the first black students to attend an all-white school when she was one was a toddler.
From there, Paisley was dressed up as basketball player LeBron James, abolitionist and women's rights activist Sojourner Truth, groundbreaking actress Viola Davis, and Vice President Kamala Harris - the first woman and woman of color to hold office.
Paisley recently dressed up as Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors - the three black women who started the Black Lives Matter movement.
Trotter said she posted paisley's looks on Instagram and let her know about every major character.
"In the first part of the caption, I write the story and what that person did," explained Trotter. "The second part is about paisley and what traits it will hopefully inherit from these leaders."
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In an age-appropriate fashion, Trotter said Paisley also learned the stories behind the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd - both cases that sparked demonstrations against police brutality across the country.
"As a white man, I began to see the world differently," said Trotter. "I'm sending her out into the world where [people] won't see her as half white or half black. I have to do what I can to protect her and give her the tools and resources and the confidence prepare them for the world and how people can perceive and control it so that we can say, "This is what we can do about it and how we can deal with it."
Kelly Jackson, vice president of the Critical Mixed Race Studies Association and associate professor at Arizona State University, whose research focuses on the development of multiracial identities, told GMA that children are not exposed enough to black characters in books and in the classroom are .
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