'Because of them, we can…' campaign features children as famous black figures

theGRIO REPORT - Photographer Eunique Jones' photo series, 'Because of them, we can...' , has made a splash on the Internet as a unique and creative take on the importance of Black History Month...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Photographer Eunique Jones’ photo series, ‘Because of them, we can…” , has made a splash on the Internet as a unique and creative take on the importance of Black History Month.

Her 28-photo project features more than 40 young children posing as some of the most iconic and influential black figures from the past and the present.

From Harriet Tubman to Spike Lee, the children are seen dressed and styled like the individual they are portraying and also incorporate an  inspirational quote from each particular famous person.

Jones, who has been a professional photographer for three years, says she was inspired to create the project for Black History Month because of her two children, Chase,4, and Amari, 7-months old. She realized they had so many opportunities available to them today which would not have been possible without “the African-American individuals who paved the way for [my kids’] future.”

After proposing the project on her Facebook page, she received more than 300 submissions from parents with their children’s head shots  and then narrowed it down to around 40 children who look and resemble some of the black icons that she wanted to portray.

As if the project was not ambitious enough, Jones took all 28 photos in one day. She prepped, dressed and styled the children and took their photos in ten minute intervals throughout the entire day in January.

That’s her son Chase portraying Muhammad Ali in one of the images.

“My lens is like my microphone, it gives me the opportunity to send a message through a picture,” Jones told theGrio in a phone interview. ” [This project is] something that the kids needed to see. The message has legs.”

With over 10,000 likes on her Facebook page, her large following on social media  has been over-flowing with positive support. Many social-media users are asking Jones to keep the project going, even after Black History Month is over.

“People don’t want the pictures to stop! Black history is so much more than Black History Month. It can’t be covered in 28 days,” Jones says. “People want me to continue the series for the whole year. They don’t know what to do on March 1st [when it ends].”

And while 337 more photos for the series seems like a daunting task to embark on, Jones says she will find a way to “get it done.”

“This is the first time I’ve been so adamant to find a way to make it happen,” Jones says.  “I feel like this message is relevant and so awesome. It pays tribute to history and pays tribute to the future that lies ahead.”

Facebook fans are asking Jones whether there will be a President Barack Obama photo for the series, and Jones hinted that there are still two more days left in Black History Month and they “will have to wait and see!”

To see the entire “Because of them, we can..” project on Eunique Jones Photography, click here.

Follow Brittany Tom on Twitter @brittanyrtom