BeBe Jones x Dandy Lion“Self-preservation is the first law of nature, if a man doesn’t have a handkerchief, a pen and a hat then he is not a well-dressed man,” said my father, the late great Malcolm B. Crenshaw.

Growing up in a family of ‘Southern Gentlemen’ (by way of Memphis, TN) my father and his brothers repeatedly expressed how a man and woman should always present themselves to society with good etiquette and impeccable grooming.

Being a daddy’s girl I learned quickly and later in life as I chose journalism as a profession I then took on the saying that your appearance is your resume and business card at times.

That said, I see a lot of similarities within my upbringing and Shantrelle P. Lewis’, Guest Curator of Dandy Lion: (RE) ARTICULATING BLACK MASCULINE IDENTITY – From Harlem to Amsterdam and now Chicago, The Lifestyle of Black Dandyism’s impact has been as powerful and stylish as it was in the 1920s and during the Harlem Renaissance.

Held at Columbia College Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) – The DANDY LION exhibit is E-P-I-C with three floors decorated with wall-to-wall colorful and black/white images (some video) of ‘tall dark and handsome’ men of color with eclectic style, etiquette and grooming… I fell in love instantly!

Dandy Lion

With Mother’s and Father’s Day approaching I totally recommend this free, yet knowledgeable exhibit, it’ll remind you of thumbing through your grandmother’s or great aunt’s photo albums… priceless moments! Honestly, I’ve been twice and I’m sure I’ll go two or three times again before it leaves on July 12th – I promise you won’t be disappointed, you’ll thank me later!

No worries, here are a few of my favorite images from the exhibit you can enjoy until you see it for yourself, tell me which ones you like…

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To plan a visit to see DANDY LION: (RE) ARTICULATING BLACK MASCULINE IDENTITY, stop by MoCP at 600 S. Michigan Ave. or log on to for more information.