Things 8 Black Women Did, and Why That Matters

The phrase "Black Girl Magic" represents way beyond a cute and unique hashtag for black women and black girls to use on their social media.
According to Huffington Post, the concept created by CaShawn Thomspon in 2013, is a way to embrace the talents, beauty, and resilience of black women. The hashtag went viral and many iconic black celebrities and figures used it.

When black women and black girls see the hashtag being represented in an uplifting way, it gives them the confidence to not only proudly show off what they have to offer individually, but it pushes aside the negative stereotypes that black women can receive.

Listed below are 10 different black women who embraced their #BlackGirlMagic in an inspiring way from powerful messages to diverse products to accomplishing their goals.

1. Rihanna’s ‘Fenty Beauty’

On September 8, 2017, Rihanna globally released her debut Fenty Beauty collection in 1600 stores. The cruelty-free collection was an instant success but what fans admired most about the collection was the amount of inclusivity by providing 40 different foundation shades. Certain make-up brands don’t include the proper colors and shades for a diverse crowd and Rihanna wanted to change that.

In an interview with Refinery29, she said that it was important to her that girls with all different types of skin tones could use the collection.

“There needs to be something for a dark-skinned girl; there needs to be something for a really pale girl; there needs to be something in-between.”

2. Erica Garner’s Police Brutality Awareness

Erica Garner is the daughter of Eric Garner, who died from a police chokehold in July 2014.

According to the New York Times, he was filmed 11 times saying, “I can’t breathe” in front of a beauty supply store. After his death, Erica Garner came into the spotlight to advocate for her father.

She felt that his story needed to be told so she started doing weekly “die-ins” every Tuesday and Thursday in front of the same shop where her father was murdered.

Garner was also a huge speaker for the Black Lives Matter movement and brought a lot of attention over the issues of police brutality.

3. Beyonce’s “Formation”

On December 9, 2016, Beyonce’s music video “Formation” aired on YouTube. Aside from Beyonce slaying her looks and vocals, the song is full of symbolism. In the beginning of the music video, Beyonce is standing on top of a police car in the middle of a flood and someone asks ‘What happened in the New Orleans?’ touching on the aftermath damage of Hurricane Katrina and the lack of effort that was taken to fix up the city and its residents.

Race was a huge theme in her music video and symbolism intertwined with each other when footage was shown of graffiti saying ‘Stop shooting us’ and a little black boy holding his hands up in front of a SWAT team. These two scenes represent the Black Lives Matter and the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown who was shot by police officer, Darren Wilson.

Another matter that was touched on was natural beauty and Beyonce and Jay-Z’s daughter, Blue Ivy, is shown flaunting off her curls while Beyonce sings ‘I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros’. Their daughter received criticism for having “unkempt” hair and Blue Ivy embracing her natural hair sends a message to black girls to accept and love their natural locks.

4. Marsai Martin’s comedy, “Little”

The 13-year-old Black-ish actress will star and executive produce in Universal’s, “Little” which was inspired by Martin. On January 24th, she posted a screenshot on Instagram of a headline from Hollywood Reporter announcing the news.

The comedy focuses on Martin portraying a woman who gets tired of the pressures of adulthood and is able to get the chance to enjoy a carefree life as a younger girl.

Originally, Girls Trip screenwriter Tracy Oliver wrote the movie but Drumline screenwriter Tina Gordon Chism wrote the most recent version of the script and is set to direct it.

Girls Trip producers Will Parker and James Lopez will produce with Black-ish creator, Kenya Barris, who also co-wrote the movie.

5. Lupita Nyong’o's Children's Book

The Academy Award-winning actress will be writing a children’s book about colorism.

The New York Times reported that Nyong’o is writing her book foe Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for next January. The title of the book and the name of the main character are named “Sulwe” which means ‘star’ in Nyong’o’s native language, Luo.

Sulwe tells the story of a dark-skinned girl that goes on starry-eyed adventure and learns about her self-beauty. In a way, Sulwe is a reflection of Nyong’o as a child struggling with her skin complexion and self-image as a child

The book is aimed for young children, despite the deep lessons imbedded.

6. Michelle Obama ‘Let Girls Learn’

In March 2015, former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama launched their program, Let Girls Learn, a chance for girls globally to change the system and value that’s placed on girls who either don’t receive or struggle to receive education.

In November 2015, The Atlantic reported Obama’s speech explaining the purpose of the program. She states that 62 million girls don’t have any type of education to learn the basic skills. Lack of resources are the main issue in the way of young girls access to education but solutions are possible by adding more scholarships that allows them to afford school fees, uniforms, and supplies, providing safe transportation, and building adequate bathrooms.

The program will also address poverty, HIV, and other problems that interfere with girls attending school.

As much as Obama expresses the importance of these aspects, she knows they won’t be significant enough unless society changes the way they view menstruation, how they punish rapists and support rape survivors, and if they don’t give women enough opportunities in the workforce.

Obama plans on making changes to society’s bias view towards these issues by traveling to different countries to offer her education and support.

7. LaVerne Cox ‘Cosmopolitan’s First Transgender Cover Girl’

The Emmy-winning actress and LGBTQ+ activist made history as Cosmopolitan’s first transgender woman to appear on the publications cover.

The theme of the February cover is a blend of Valentine’s Day and highlighting LGBTQ+ issues.

On the cover, the masthead is decorated in rainbow to represent the LGBTQ+ flag. Cox is featured wearing a black swimsuit with the hashtag #SayYesToLove written across her.

According to the Huffington Post, the publication features Cox stating her celebrity crush, her proudest career moment, and what its like to have a continuous battle of acceptance in a heteronormative world of show business.

Holly Meadows, Cosmopolitan’s South Africa’s editor-in-chief, said the goal was to ““disrupt heteronormative ideas around February and Valentine’s Day and look at love in 2018” in its latest issue.”

Cox appeared in Cosmopolitan before in October 2016 when she paid tribute to Tina Turner, Beyonce, and Tracy Africa to promote her role in Fox’s reboot of “Rocky Horror Picture Show."

8. Tracee Ellis Ross’s speech

Golden Globe winner and Black-ish actress delivered an empowering speech for women at Glamour’s 2017 Women of the Year Summit.

"It's really interesting to be a woman, and to get to 45, and to not be married, and to not have kids. Especially when you’ve pushed out five kids on TV," she said.

Ross talked about how she was asked a million questions regarding her relationship status and if the future holds kids. She said that when she was younger she planned her wedding and dreamt of how perfect it would be.

It was an adorable fantasy but she also dreamt about winning an Oscar, being on the cover of magazines, and helping women find their voices in the world.

Marriage and having kids can be wonderful accomplishments to people and Ross doesn’t make negative remarks about that but the purpose of her speech is to persuade women to put themselves first.

Women shouldn’t be ashamed because they haven’t achieved certain goals that society considers a necessity but instead they should take one step at a time, focus on themselves, and figure out what makes them happy.