Essays

#BlackGirlMagic

It was a month around the release of the first Fleurish1994 editorial when someone tumblr instant messaged me and said we had #blackgirlmagic. Previously, it didn’t occur to me that what we did was worthy of such a title; I just thought we were creative. But when she said it, it made all the sense in the world. We were black girls creating something beautiful and doing it well. That was our brand of black girl magic and we were ultra proud to carry the flag.

Fast forward to a few days ago when my timeline blew up due to a certain Elle magazine article. In the article, the author decided that the hashtag, while beautiful, was not an accurate depiction of the black woman’s experience for a number of reasons. Many people took to Twitter, Tumblr and other media outlets to refute the article.

Before I get into this, I want to point out that the author made some good points. For instance, black girls and women are not magical in the literal sense. We don’t shit glitter, we don’t heal twice as fast as other humans and we certainly don’t grant wishes. As most of the world believes that black people  do have superhero powers, it is important to debunk this. Second, black girls are human. We are human. We bleed the same, we cry the same, we hurt the same as anybody else.

That being said, Shante and I think that she not only missed the point and miffed off the subjects, she also used many false equalities to justify her point. Moreover, she didn’t actually write this to address the problems within the hashtag. Otherwise, she would have published it somewhere other black girls could have an open discussion about it. Instead, she ran to a white publication in an action that felt eerily reminiscent of someone airing out private laundry in a public place.

First off: We, as black girls, are magical. Not because we don’t have issues or challenges or obstacles both intrinsic and extrinsic but because in spite of those problems, we still manage to triumph. Even with all the burdens of life and barriers of victory, black girls stay winning.

Second: We can be magical beings and be human. The #blackgirlmagic hashtag is a safe place of black girl self love without the perversion of white supremacy. We don’t need to talk about the Magical Negro Effect there because all black girls understand that we are not literally magical. This argument doesn’t need articulating because it is not an issue for the crowd who subscribe to the term.

Third: Sandra Bland had black girl magic. As did the other black female victims of police brutality and abuse. So do black girls with disabilities. As do all black girls. Unfortunately, no one else sees it, therefore we must first recognize it in ourselves. Black girls are the best riders for black girls so at every chance at we must celebrate and optimize our glow. This hashtag is not to say that we don’t catch shit from the rest of the world; we all recognize that we do. We choose to celebrate the happiness and humanity in us. That’s what black girl magic is about.

Four: We are happy to be black girls doing awesome things, making awesome things and sharing them with awesome people. We are happy to see other black girls doing the same. We are happy to support other black girls doing things. That, in and of itself, is sheer magic. And that is the epitome of black girl magic.

-Dream M. (AKA a magical black girl)

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