A photo is truly worth a thousand words, especially when it depicts the joy often overlooked in everyday life.
The team at Foot Locker recognize the importance of talented photographers who are positively impacting the representation of the Black experience through their work. The sports apparel brand recently announced the inductees of their 2022 Sole List inductees, a round-up of creatives that have shown a deep commitment to furthering social equity.
Per a news release, the photographers captured images that highlight products from Black-owned brands from Foot Locker’s Home Grown program, with content being revealed throughout the month of February. Home Grown was launched in 2019 as a platform to connect communities and showcase designers across the nation. Through the program, Foot Locker aims to further elevate and support the hottest designers shaping the future of streetwear.
Foot Locker plans to showcase the campaign content in an upcoming art gallery exhibition in February. The exhibit will tell the story of the artists creating new Black history and will be open to the public for a limited time. The three photographers selected have demonstrated their creative prowess all while amplifying the positive representation of the Black diaspora.
Andy Jackson – Reframing Black beauty to the Sole List
Andy Jackson is a Delaware-raised, New York City-based photographer who turned a hobby into a career showcasing beautiful Black imagery. He credits the myriad of Black experiences he was exposed to at Delaware State University and on the streets of New York City with helping him develop a photography style that allows him to capture everyone’s raw truth, while still making it relatable to anyone who sees.
Jackson hopes to use Foot Locker’s international platform to further showcase the diversity of the Black experience to more eyes than he ever has. “There are so many different facets of Black culture, so no one is the same. That’s been really important to showcase, as well as bring it to a new audience I may haven’t been able to reach yet,” he said.
Joshua Renfroe – Bringing Black truth to the Sole List
Joshua Renfroe does more than put Black people in photos, he takes them out of monolithic boxes. Born in Tuskegee, Alabama, now based in New York City, Renfroe uses his raw and cinematic photography style to tell authentic stories of Black culture since teaching himself photography starting in April 2017.
For his Black History Month photoshoot with Foot Locker, the visionary image-maker shined an authentic light on Black culture similar to what he brought to the world with his critically acclaimed photography book, Black Boy Fly, because he feels a personal obligation to always represent Black culture correctly in the world. “My responsibility to Black culture as a photographer is to continuously create exciting work that tells our stories through an authentic and passionate lens,” Renfroe said.
Flo Ngala – Showing the power of Black culture for the Sole List
Born and raised in the mecca of Black style in Harlem, Flo Ngala honed her skills by capturing the plethora of Black experiences around her. She refined her talents over the years, eventually shooting for the likes of Apple, The New York Times, and Nike, to name a few. Ngala has also photographed powerful Black figures such as Stacey Abrams and Letitia Wright. She calls her style “Flo On the Wall” and brings Black identity to the forefront of a photo’s frame to resonate deeply in a person’s heart.
For her Sole List photoshoot, Ngala combined the vibrant movement of an Alvin Ailey dance performance with the energetic personability of famed street photographer Jamel Shabazz to produce honest depictions of Black life that shift the cultural paradigm. “As the image-maker, the importance of sharing Black people in their truth stems especially from the fact that history has altered and underrepresented Black stories for so long,” Ngala said.