What does it mean to have #BlackGirlMagic, and better yet, who is #BlackGirlMagic?
Is it Viola Davis winning a Golden Globe for Fences? Willow Smith slaying a magazine photo shoot? Serena Williams dominating on the court? Your best girlfriend finally finishing her Ph.D.? What about the single mother down the street trying to provide the best life for her kids? Or how about the woman working to repair her life after a downward spiral?
If you ask CaShawn Thompson, the woman who brought “Black Girls Are Magic” to life before it was hashtagged into #BlackGirlMagic, it’s all of the women mentioned and more.
As she told The Los Angeles Times in 2015 about her use of “Black Girls Are Magic” since 2013, “I say ‘magic’ because it’s something that people don’t always understand,” she said. “Sometimes our accomplishments might seem to come out of thin air, because a lot of times, the only people supporting us are other black women.”
But as she’s noticed, and maybe you have too, people seem to think only certain kind of women doing certain kinds of things deserve the #BlackGirlMagic treatment. This saddens her:
After receiving quite a few responses to her thoughts on Twitter, Thompson wrote a blog on Medium reminding everyone what #BlackGirlMagic is really all about and who it’s about. The piece included this gem:
Hood Black Girls got magic too!
So do Black girls that do hair in their kitchen, disabled Black girls, lesbian Black girls, fat Black girls, poor Black girls, Black girls with relaxers and weave, Black girls that are single moms, Black girls that haven’t figured out how to blend their make-up, Black girls that are incarcerated, trans Black girls, teenage Black girls, uneducated/under-educated Black girls, Black girls that work low paying jobs, Black girls that present as masculine, etc.
As she pointed out, without the aforementioned women, there would be no #BlackGirlMagic, as they all inspired “Black Girls Are Magic.”
Those women are the Black Girl Magic rule, not the exception. Women like me, because Black Girl Magic was NEVER about the respectability that we sometimes use to oppress ourselves in order to feel special. We are all that kind of special JUST BECAUSE. If you’re really about the divine work of bringing your sisters along and holding them up, they don’t necessarily have to be your line sisters or your brunch bunch, because all of us can’t make it. Hell, all of us don’t even want to. It absolutely breaks my heart when women like me feel excluded from the Love of Black Girl Magic because of the compartmentalization that SOME folks want to put on it. I’m not about that and I hope that you aren’t either. I hope that you can see all of our struggles and our successes as valid and empowering, be they from Tracee Ellis Ross winning an Emmy or Tracee Jenkins winning Employee of the Month on her job at CVS.
Amen to that. All Black girls are magic.
Do you agree that people have tried to make #BlackGirlMagic exclusive instead of inclusive of all?
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