Love and Justice: A Journey of Empowerment, Activism, and Embracing Black Beauty (Hardcover)

Love and Justice: A Journey of Empowerment, Activism, and Embracing Black Beauty By Laetitia Ky Cover Image

Love and Justice: A Journey of Empowerment, Activism, and Embracing Black Beauty (Hardcover)


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The deeply personal story of artist, activist, and influencer Laetitia Ky, told through the powerful sculptures she creates with her own hair that embrace Black culture and beauty, the fight for social justice, and the journey toward self-love.

Laetitia Ky is a one-of-a-kind artist, activist, and creative voice based in Ivory Coast, West Africa. With the help of extensions, wool, wire, and thread, Ky sculpts her hair into unique and compelling art pieces that shine a light on, and ignite conversation around, social justice. Her bold and intimate storytelling, which she openly shares with her extensive social media audience, covers issues like:

• Sexism and internalized misogyny
• Racial oppression
• Reproductive rights and consent
• Harmful beauty standards
• Shame and its corrosive effect on mental health
• And more

Love and Justice is equal parts memoir, artwork, and feminist manifesto. Ky's striking words, combined with 135 remarkable photographs, offer empowerment and inspiration. She emerges from her exploration of justice and equality with a message of self-love, showing readers the path to loving themselves and their bodies, expressing their voices, and feeling more confident.

Through this celebration of women's empowerment, Ky extends a generous invitation to love ourselves, embrace our unique beauty, and to work toward a more just world.
Laetitia Ky is an artist, photographer, model, actress, activist, fashion designer, and social media influencer from Abidjan, Ivory Coast. She uses her hair as a sculptural medium to ignite awareness and conversations around the social justice topics she champions: sex-based and racial oppression, harmful beauty standards, and shame and its corrosive effect on mental health, among others. Ky and her art and activism have been featured in NYLON, Ebony, Elle, on, and more, and she has partnered with brands such as Apple, Canada Goose and Marc Jabobs on social content creation. Ky was named one of PAPER magazine's "top 100 people taking over 2019." You can follow her art and activism on TikTok and Instagram: @LaetitiaKy.
Product Details ISBN: 9781648960529
ISBN-10: 1648960529
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Publication Date: April 5th, 2022
Pages: 224
Language: English
"This is a fantastic book that is half personal essay and half photography...Laetitia Ky’s hair sculptures and modeling is absolutely magnificent....I think this would be a lovely book to keep on your coffee table. Four stars."
-- Latitude's Library blog

“There is no subject that Laetitia Ky can’t address in her art with openness and insightfulness. What she creates with her hair and body brings beauty to the universal freights that plague women of color. I found it impossible not to fall for her striking beauty along with her gorgeous heart.”
— GABOUREY SIDIBE, actress and author of This is Just My Face,

“After following Laetitia Ky on Instagram for many years, it is thrilling to be able to see her photographs in print. It’s even more satisfying to learn about her point of view through the personal stories and political beliefs that inspire her at times playful and poignant images. Ky’s work is moving and bold.”
— EMILY RATAJKOWSKI, author of My Body,

"Ky frames her sculptural work within personal narratives that dig into issues of mental health, internalized misogyny, African heritage, sexism, self-care, Black beauty and other themes close to her heart. As a member of a new global guard of young creatives who refuse to separate their work from their beliefs and values, Ky is poised to become a strong role model for young people finding their way in the world."
-- BookPage

"Artist, activist and influencer Ky is known for sculpting her own hair to create powerful and joyful artwork that embraces the beauty of Black hair and style. In her first book she showcases 125 photographs of her creations, interwoven with stories about her Ivory Coast childhood and more."
- The Bookseller (UK),

"A stunning collection of urgent, intimate essays paired with powerful, annotated photos of Ky wearing her hair sculptures, often in lush outdoor Ivorian settings. Seamlessly marrying style and substance, the sculptures and essays reveal the author’s journey of self-acceptance, raise awareness of a wide range of social issues, and celebrate African aesthetic and spiritual traditions....Come for the beautiful art as activism, stay for the deeply personal memoir and rich cultural history."
- Kirkus Reviews (STARRED REVIEW)

"Buy this book! Read it, then buy it for young women, and for young Black women especially. While its message will be most powerful for young women like Ky, it is also for any woman who needs to be reminded about how to be resilient in the face of all that women go through. It is a wonderful celebration, and a defiant shout."
-- Shona Reads blog