Posted by  Aisha Clarke   in       1 year ago     2637 Views     2 Comments  

With Essence magazines’ #BlackGirlMagic Class of 2016 February cover, 2016 may be the year for black females to get the recognition they deserve.


2016 has already started with a bang. Beyonce dropped her song Formation, where she unapologetically owned and celebrated her blackness. Her performance at the Super Bowl played homage to the Black Panthers and celebrated black culture. It brought racial politics and Afro-American history to the world stage.

Black Girl Magic

We also have Jada Pinkett Smith calling for an Oscars Boycott this year. The Academy failed to nominate any black actors, despite films like Creed, Beast of No Nations and Concussion (to name a few) having strong performances by black actors. Jada has brought attention to the lack of diversity in the Oscars and Hollywood. She is using her voice to raise an important issue and shows that black females can orchestrate change and lead a movement.

Jada Pinkett Smith Speaks on No African Americans Being Nominated for the Oscars

The #BlackGirlMagic is based on this very sentiment. The hashtag aims to celebrate, inspire and motivate black women. Twitter users have used the hashtag when praising the achievements of individuals. Many have also used the phrase to caption positive images of black girls and women; and representation does matter. One search of #BlackGirlMagic on Twitter or Instagram brings up thousands of images of black girls succeeding.

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So it may be surprising that #BlackGirlMagic, Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance and Jada Smith’s call for an Oscar boycott have all attracted criticism.

Police unions across the US plan to boycott Beyoncé’s tour and not volunteer to work at her concert because of Formation. They have accused Beyoncé of using the Super Bowl to divide Americans.

Linda Chavers wrote an article for Elle magazine titled ‘Here’s My Problem with #BlackGirlMagic’. She argues that ‘Black girls aren’t magical. We’re human.’ But Chavers is missing the point. In a world where black women face discrimination, not just for their race but also their gender its easy for black girls not to see the full potential in themselves.


Chavers’ article

The #BlackGirlMagic is a space where black women can join together and celebrate themselves and put out their own images of what it means to be a black women in 2016. This can only be a positive thing. The Essence magazines’ February edition #BlackGirlMagic Class of 2016, celebrates the achievement of different black women. It features covers of Chi-raq‘s Teyonah Parris, black-ish‘s Yara Shanidi and social activists Jonhetta “Netta” Elzie. The #BlackGirlMagic has been used thousands of times already and the movement does not appear to be disappearing anytime soon. 2016 may be the year where #BlackGirlMagic is realised and accepted.
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