By Coshandra Dillard
A few years ago, CaShawn Thompson created a hashtag to illuminate the awesomeness of black women. #BlackGirlsAreMagic turned into #BlackGirlMagic, and the rest is history. Every award show, prime time feature of black actresses and other performances, and the achievements of everyday black women yield thousands of #BlackGirlMagic tags on social media, particularly in the Twitterverse.
That magic is in the way we slay: Our diverse beauty. Our vernacular, intelligence and especially, our resilience. It’s a way to acknowledge and celebrate our humanity in a world that often doesn’t see it. Doing more for less, raising children and taking care of others, all while exuding confidence and appearing flawless is a marker of black girl magic. It’s about excellence when the cards are stacked against us. There is determination to overcome racism, sexism, body shaming, and more.
Solange Knowles recently dropped an album that is the epitome of black girl magic. The tracks highlight our struggles, our right to be in our feelings, self-care, empowerment and the love of culture that is “for us.”
I am glad that we are getting back to a time of sisterhood and self-love. Today, we give props to a sista who decides to return to natural hair or embrace their curves and the fullness of their facial features. There was a time–and you could argue that there is still a struggle–we didn’t collectively embrace our blackness.
#BlackGirlMagic is reaffirming. That’s important because black women often bear the weight of the world on our shoulders, oftentimes without saying a word about it. We’re expected to “be strong” and smile through our pain. Any vulnerability or assertiveness will get you pegged as angry.
Remember, Malcolm X said:
“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”
#BlackGirlMagic reminds us that we don’t need anyone’s permission to know we are worthy, valuable, and beautiful. Be proud of who you are. Release your magic and don’t forget to recognize the magic in others.