Sorry Elle Magazine, #BlackGirlMagic is Real


Not only was Elle Magazine's recent post about #BlackGirlMagic a disservice to black women, it was a disservice to the magazine that constantly appropriates black culture. Because knotty knots (bantu knots) and cornrows have never been your thing. 

What the writer failed to understand - or at least capture - is that #blackgirlmagic isn't about trying to appear superhuman, or invincible to life's occurrences, but it's our self-affirmation that despite these occurrences we are still powerful. It's a reminder that regardless of the mess constantly being thrown at us, this article included, we are here. We rise above every fire our black bodies are thrown into and come out alive. Thriving. Strengthened. So when we talk about #blackgirlmagic, we're often times talking about that resilience. That dedication to being more than the terrible portrayals on television or in movies. More than just the culture being stolen from us and put on magazines as "trends". More than just brown skinned and loud-mouthed.

#Blackgirlmagic is self-appreciation. It's not about constricting ourselves into the "strong black woman" mold, but about freeing ourselves from our day-to-day oppression. #Blackgirlmagic is our constant reminder that we are beautiful, resilient, powerful, gifted, worthy and with purpose - all things we wouldn't hear otherwise.

So black girl, despite what Elle Magazine or the white woman up the street says, we are magical. Not because we're superhuman but because in spite of all the evil being fed to our spirit, we still shine. We still light the way for many young black girls whose only image of blackness is the negative media they consume. We're magical because we continue to assert our power, despite how powerless society tends to make us feel. We're magical because our bold brown eyes are seeing visions and our brown fingertips are implementing them. We're magical because we continue to fight, no matter how many fists have battered our bloodied bodies we won't ever stop swinging. We're magical because we've changed the course of history with our resilience and strength when racial tensions were at its peak in this country. We're magical because we're willing to get up and do the grunt work when it's most important. When no one else wants to do it. We're magical because no matter how many articles are written or words are said that tear us down, we still find strength to stand up. To be bold. To be heard. To make it...without privilege. We're magical because no matter how hard they try, we won't let anyone steal that from us, and when they say "black girls aren't magical" we bind together and exclaim: YES WE ARE!

Society has stripped us of many things: our sons and husbands, our culture, even our lives, but you will not strip us of our magic.

Linda, just because you don't feel magical, doesn't mean we shouldn't.

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