What #BlackGirlMagic Means to Me

As a young, black woman attending a predominately white institution such as UCLA, with less than 5% of African American students on campus, hashtags like #BlackGirlMagic allow me to take pride in my fellow black sisters, their accomplishments, and feel close to black women in a space where not many are found.

My brown skin, full of melanin, is the first thing I see when I look in the mirror, I see the beauty of my ancestors, the strength and courage they possessed, and I see the magnificence that comes with being a black woman. I see myself; I see all of the beautiful brown women of my life I love; I see my #BlackGirlMagic.

Throughout history, black women have always survived; we have always persevered, never stopping, never allowing anyone to dim our bright light. #BlackGirlMagic was created to praise and uplift black women in a society that does not do so and often forgets or ignores our presence. Through #BlackGirlMagic, black women all over the world come together to praise one another and give each other the love and attention we all deserve but are denied by most mainstream media.

This past summer during the 2016 Olympics #BlackGirlMagic was prevalent in Rio. America’s black female athletes won gold medals left and right, some even making history like Simone Manuel the first black woman to win an individual medal in swimming. This was a significant as it made many remember when an entire hotel pool was drained after actress Dorothy Dandridge dipped her toe in it. Her win and those of the many other black women was the epitome of #BlackGirlMagic. Watching the Olympics and seeing my fellow black women dominating and killing it gave me so much pride and joy, I felt so blessed to be a black girl and be present to watch all the magic that was taking place, to see us at the forefront of America’s success with the support and love of all black women behind them. Without #BlackGirlMagic, their wins would’ve gone ignored, they would’ve gone ignored.

It’s so important for young black girls to see themselves positively represented in media, uplifted by our sisters all over the world, and taking pride in themselves, #BlackGirlMagic does that and so much more. This is what #BlackGirlMagic means to me.

This Black History Month, black girls everywhere show your magic, embrace your magic, celebrate your magic, give your magic, grow your magic, be your magical beautiful selves not just in Black History Month but yearlong.