When Black Girl Magic is Turned to Poison

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Grace Jones embodying some #blackgirlmagic before the hashtag but never before the reality. Yesterday Black Twitter was in a rumble. Someone else done did it and, in classic Black Twitter style, we weren't having it. Much applause.

Elle.com posted an article in opposition to the popular hashtag #BlackGirlMagic. With a subtitle that states, "we're not magical, we're human", author Linda Chavers already made a critical mistake. Chavers failed to fully understand and convey the meaning of #blackgirlmagic and in turn created work that undermines much needed progress and positivity. Read the article here.

Chavers conflates the very different definitions of #blackgirlmagic with Black girls are magical to cater to her own unfounded suppositions. Black women are not magical figures. Black women's ability to maintain their humanity in the face of oppression can be likened to magic. Our output. Our fortitude. Our steadfastness is in fact magic. The curl of our hair, the twist of our lips and the way we embody, instead of run away from, these historically deemed inferior characteristics, are magic. Our organic makeup happens to be more similar than dissimilar to our white counterparts. To this point we have no choice but to concede. But our presence, our space and the spaces we create in spite of systematic oppression is magic.

Blackgirlmagic does not mean we're submitting ourselves to some outdated trope of super-heroism. It instead includes our talent and our accomplishments. It does not suggest a varied genetic make up or organic composition. To liken blackgirlmagic to the thinking that underlay slavery is unfair, unsubstantiated and irresponsible.

Publishing a seemingly deliberate miscommunication about the definition and importance of #blackgirlmagic, Elle.com was careless with this article. See how some responded:

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There was clearly a missed mark and we can only hope that future articles responding to entrepreneurial and earnest endeavors by Black women will be on target.

There is enough information in cyberspace to have made a sound and informed conclusion. And instead, Elle.com got it so incredibly wrong. Shame.

Check out Blavity.com for some #Blackgirlmagic paraphernalia. And, of course, our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter page for consistent #Blackgirlmagic.


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