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Tuesday, 4 August 2020

First black man to photograph a Vogue cover in magazine's 104-year history captures images of footballer Marcus Rashford for Black Lives Matter-themed edition

The first black man to photograph a British Vogue cover in its 104-year history captured Manchester United and England star Marcus Rashford for a special Black Lives Matter-themed edition of the magazine
The footballer, 22, shared a photo of the cover on Twitter and said he was 'humbled' to be recognised for his campaign to help vulnerable children that led to a government u-turn on free school meals. 
Rashford appears on the cover alongside mental health campaigner and model Adwoa Aboah.  
The photos of Rashford and the other activists were taken by Misan Harriman, the first black male photographer to shoot a British Vogue cover. 
The September issue is traditionally the fashion bible's most important of the year. The Duchess of Sussex guest edited the issue 12 months ago. 
Editor Edward Enninful said the issue is a 'rallying cry for the future' and includes 40 activists described as 'The Faces of Hope'. 
Manchester United star Marcus Rashford features on the cover of Vogue's September issue alongside mental health campaigner and model Adwoa Aboah and 18 other global activists described as 'the faces of hope'
Manchester United star Marcus Rashford features on the cover of Vogue's September issue alongside mental health campaigner and model Adwoa Aboah and 18 other global activists described as 'the faces of hope'
The footballer, 22, shared a photo of the cover on Twitter and said he was 'humbled' to be recognised for his campaign to help vulnerable children
The footballer, 22, shared a photo of the cover on Twitter and said he was 'humbled' to be recognised for his campaign to help vulnerable children
Rashford partnered with FareShare, a poverty and food waste charity, in March and raised more than £20million to ensure children are provided with school meals during lockdown. 
However, with the government set to stop providing free school meals to around three million children over the summer, the Manchester United star wrote to MPs on June 15 imploring them to 'protect the vulnerable'.
His poignant letter was widely shared and prompted a rapid government u-turn.  
He also shared his own experience of growing up poor and, in his interview with Vogue, said: 'I would have failed everyone that had helped me get to where I am today if I didn't put myself out there and say: ''This is not ok – and it needs to change.'' In fact, I would have failed my 10 year old self.' 
Other activists highlighted include Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Windrush campaigner Patrick Vernon and Doreen Lawrence, founder of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.
The issue was curated by Edward Enninful, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue.  
It comes after the Black Lives Matter movement spread around the globe following the horrific killing of George Floyd by police. 
Mr Enninful himself said he was racially profiled in July when he was refused entry to Vogue House in Mayfair by a guard who not only failed to recognise him, but who also told him to use the tradesmen's entrance at the back of the building.  

Speaking to Sky News today about the incident, Mr Enninful said:  'It wasn't an isolated incident. Of course, it takes you back to all those moments in your life when that sort of thing has happened. 
'It's important that something like this did happen, because it reminds me never to think I am too well-known or too established, because to somebody you are another black person.'
For Rashford, it is the latest form of recognition after his campaign to protect the vulnerable generated headlines worldwide. 
The footballer highlighted how his own experience growing up in Wythenshawe, south Manchester, drove his desire to help the less fortunate.
Speaking to Vogue, Rashford said: 'As an athlete, failure is a part of everyday life. You lose a game, you bounce back for the next one. You lose in a cup final, you come back stronger next season.
'In this case, the failure would have been me not standing up for all of those people that didn't have a voice.

Vogue editor Edward Enninful (pictured at Somerset House in November 2016) revealed that he was a victim of 'racial profiling' at his own office
Vogue editor Edward Enninful (pictured at Somerset House in November 2016) revealed that he was a victim of 'racial profiling' at his own office
Rashford, who has been an inspiration with his charity work, was left humbled by the moment
Rashford, who has been an inspiration with his charity work, was left humbled by the moment
'This was an issue I could relate to. 'This was something I had experienced. That my mum had experienced. That we had experienced as a family.
 'I always swore to my mum that if one day I was in a position to help, then I would, and an opportunity presented itself. I took a risk, yes. But I reduced the risk by educating myself. I had listened and I had spoken to those most affected. 
'I had been working with FareShare since before the lockdown so had seen first-hand how parents had become reliant on foodbanks and the support of the food vouchers.
'I had been listening to stories from parents, carers, headteachers and my partner FareShare for weeks and I felt a responsibility to give them the opportunity to share their stories and have their voice heard. 
'People were talking but no one was really listening. I'm by no means a politician but I had a voice and a platform that could be used to at least ask the questions.'
Rashford earned plaudits for his campaign and will even receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester, the youngest recipient in the award's history.
However, the footballer insisted that his focus remained on helping those who need it. 
Just days after the end of the Premier League he posted a series of photos on Instagram of him and FairShare at a factory loading up food.
Rashford lent a helping hand at a FareShare factory soon after the Premier League finished
Rashford lent a helping hand at a FareShare factory soon after the Premier League finished 
Rashford earned plaudits for his campaign and will even receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester
Rashford earned plaudits for his campaign and will even receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester
He told Vogue: 'Plenty of athletes and clubs work within the communities. You might not always hear about it but that doesn't mean they aren't. 
'With me, it has been instilled in me from a young age that I would use my voice to help others and I have a great team around me who have always encouraged me to just be myself. 
'On a sensitive subject like this, being myself was enough, because nobody could tell my childhood story better than me.'
'Not many people can disagree [with the fact] that children should not be skipping meals and going to bed hungry. 
'When the U-turn came, I was shocked. We had had little communication from the key decision-makers up until that point, but my shock soon turned into pride.
'British people care, and we showed the real power of us coming together to make a difference to so many lives. 
'Should we have had to do it? Absolutely not. But we showed that we have compassion for each other, at a time when we were somewhat divided.'
The footballer also explained how he was inspired by the spread of activism and demonstrations that followed the killing of George Floyd. 
His death sparked anger around the world, with the Black Lives Matter movement holding protests in several major cities, including in the UK. 
Rashford said: 'I'm a Black man from a Black family and I will eventually have Black children. I want my children to grow up in a world where regardless of the colour of your skin you have the same opportunities to succeed in life. 
'No one person is more important than the other. The beauty of the government U-turn was that we all came together as one – regardless of race, sex, religion, background. 
'We all agreed that our children should be looked after – all of our children. We were together in that feeling. 
'That was a powerful moment. I don't think I've felt pride like that before.
'[But] we are only scratching the surface of the problem. 
'Child poverty is a huge problem in the UK. With the U-turn we bought ourselves a bit of time. The food voucher scheme is far from perfect but it's a start. 
'Access to food is the most basic of human needs and the systems in place aren't always designed to support our most vulnerable. 
'We need a framework in place that is sustainable in supporting the families and the children that need access to food supplies, especially coming out of this pandemic with unemployment so high.
'I'm having the conversations, I'm asking the questions and hopefully we can keep moving this forward in a positive direction.
 'No child in this country should be going hungry… end of story.'
British Vogue said the issue is an 'ode to the extraordinary voices, the majority of whom are women, who have been critical to driving change'.
Aboah, 28, said: 'For some time it's felt to me to have been quite a box-ticking approach to racial justice, mental health, sustainability. Now I have hope it's changing. I don't think you're going to get away with just spraying perfume on the situation anymore.'
Vogue's Hope issue is a collaboration between all 26 editions of the magazine around the world for the September and October issues.
It marks the first time in Vogue's 128-year history that all editions are consolidating under a singular editorial theme.
The September issue of British Vogue will be available on newsstands and digital download on Friday August 7.

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