Trailblazer, provocateur, and mentor are just a few words used to describe Naomi Campbell in the latest issue of Vogue.
The iconic supermodel was officially revealed as the magazine’s November 2020 cover star, and in the pages, she candidly discusses her illustrious career, the racism she’s faced in the fashion industry, and how she uses her platform to advocate for Black models around the world.
“There were a few things that I would do when I was younger that I was told were bad for my race. Now the things I do are not just for me anymore. I think more of my culture and my race, as opposed to thinking about just me,” she explains.
“I never used to say the word racism; I just used to say, it’s territorialism. I never wanted people to say that I used that as an excuse, that I was throwing that word out.”
Campbell was the first Black woman to ever grace the cover of French Vogue, in 1988.
“Now I’m happy that everyone’s all on the same page, that everyone feels comfortable to come out about their experiences without feeling some stigma. But for me, nothing’s changed. I’m going to speak the same way,” she states.
The 50-year-old also admits she’s “quite over” the stereotype of the “angry Black woman.”
“Is it now that we have permission to speak? Well, I have always spoken.”
Campbell also shares her thoughts on the media’s treatment of racial injustices in both the U.K. and the United States.
“I’d rather have racism be right in front of my face and know what I’m dealing with than to have it suppressed. No disrespect to the country I was born in [U.K.] but we need to dig it up and bring it up and deal with it. No more chucking it down the sides,” says the supermodel.
As for the future, Campbell is positive that justice will be served for the Black community.
“I think as a generation, as a whole, can we get reparations for our culture, for what we’ve been through? I absolutely believe we are going to get the positive outcome we deserve,” she says. “But we have to do our work in making sure we get it. I think reparations are important for the people to really see that this is something that’s been taken seriously.”
Check out Campbell’s full interview with Vogue here.