Following the news these days, it can be hard not to feel overwhelmed and heavily discouraged. With incidents of police brutality in the US, stories of sexual assault, online slut-shaming and misogyny, it can be particularly difficult for black women.
For those moments when you feel like you can’t bear to be exposed to the negative things anymore, we’ve compiled a list of moments of pure #BlackGirlMagic that have never failed to lift our spirits.
Pap Culture on Black Girl Magic
Nwabisa Mda, Thembe Mahlaba and Bongeka Masango make up our one of our favourite local Youtube blogs, Pap Culture. Their blog is aimed at giving a South African take on popular culture and current affairs topics including everything from hair and beauty to sexual harassment and relationships.
Here, Nwabisa and Thembe discuss what Black Girl Magic means to them and why it’s important, and they acknowledge aspects of the trend that frustrate them.
The trailer for Hidden Figures
We’re counting down the months until February when Hidden Figures will be released. The film stars Taraji P Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer (I mean, need we even say more?) and tells the true story of three black female mathematicians working for NASA in the 60s. They took a stand against racism and sexism in the workplace to make valuable contributions to NASA’s Apollo 11 project.
Feminista Jones’s #LoudBlackGirls hashtag
American activist Feminista Jones started the hashtag #LoudBlackGirls when she heard the story of how Erica Garner – the daughter of Eric Garner, an African American man who was the victim of police brutality in New York – had to fight to make herself heard by the president when she wanted to raise important questions about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Jones acknowledged how many black women feel silenced and choose not to speak out in order to avoid the ‘angry black woman’ stereotype, and in reaction created the hashtag to celebrate black women raising their voices.
My volume doesn’t matter. If they don’t like what they’re hearing, I’m just one of those #LoudBlackGirls
— BLM (@AshleyCanino) July 15, 2016
— come 4 me (@Theuglyinkling) July 15, 2016
I still remember a professor telling me and my friends we were too loud in the cafeteria because we were laughing together #LoudBlackGirls
— TheLovelyMess (@ApothicApples) July 15, 2016
The African trio that made us proud at the Olympics
Not only did our local hero Caster Semenya bring home the gold when she won the women’s 800m race at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but her fellow winners happened to be from the African continent, too. Francine Niyonsaba from Burundi took home the silver while Kenya’s Margaret Wambui took home the bronze. Despite the criticisms from other athletes, media and the public towards Caster, the pictures of the winners from the podium that ensued were full of pure joy.
The day #NaturalHair broke the internet
Similar to the now regular #BlackOutDay, the hashtag #NaturalHairBreakTheInternet was started as a way for women of colour to celebrate their natural hair when there is still such a lack of representation and acceptance of it in media and in society. We’re still struggling to see black women celebrated in film, and although it’s 2016, there are still stories about women being reprimanded in the workplace for wearing natural hair.
— Stephanie Pekeur (@Ste_phine) August 23, 2016
— Noxolo Ntintili (@theblackbushy) August 23, 2016
— sensitive (@kylaphil) August 23, 2016
— intuitief (@hey_alyx) August 23, 2016
— Kim Meyer (@KimLmeyer) August 23, 2016
Laverne Cox in the new The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Fox is remaking this classic just in time for Halloween this year, starring Laverne Cox as Dr Frank-N-Furter. They released a preview that shows Laverne rocking her costumes and singing Time Warp.