Before Beverly Johnson, Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks and Iman, there was Naomi Sims. No, she didn't just make cosmetics, wigs and hairpieces, Ms. Sims has been credited as the first black supermodel. That is why her transition from this world without the appropriate acknowledgement by the news and fashion industry, is appalling. Ms. Sims succumbed to breast cancer at 61.
As a teenager during the black pride era, I recall seeing her beautiful brown face on the cover of many magazines and in advertisements. She was elegant and seemed to glide down the runway.
The pioneering Ms. Sims, who would become an entrepreneur and author, paved the way for ethnic models. Initially, she suffered much rejection because of her dark skin but she persevered and became the toast of the fashion industry.
Thank you, Ms. Sims. You blazed a trail that many take for granted today but I thank you for giving little black girls and black women a reason to walk tall and proud. Ashe'.