Celebrating Our Sisters: The Authenticity of Black Girl Magic
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Black Girl Magic‘, but for those still not up on cultural terms, #BlackGirlMagic is the phrase coined to celebrate African-American females, who have often defied insurmountable odds to become successful in their careers, trades, communities and/or lives. In layman’s terms, the phrase is a level of badass! Yes, we know that ‘all girls are magic’, and we also know that ‘all women should be celebrated’. However, in a time where so much is whitewashed and culturally appropriated, right now, in the words of Issa Rae, “I’m rooting for everybody black!” Check out five sisters who we think are the epitome of #BlackGirlMagic.
- Tarana Burke
A few weeks ago, the hashtag #MeToo began to circulate on social media amid the Harry Weinstein allegations. The hashtag was used as a way to show just how many people are victims of sexual violence. Although gaining popularity in 2017, by a tweet from Alyssa Milano, the movement to bring healing and awareness began ten years ago, formed by our sister, Tarana Burke. Burke started ‘Me Too’ via her non-profit, Just Be Inc, which is an organization for women and girls of color. While sexual violence doesn’t discriminate, the responses towards people of color do. ‘Me Too’ was a grassroots movement to aid sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities that were being left out by rape crisis centers and sexual assault workers. Thank you for making sure our voices are being heard.
2. Lena Waithe
Since we’re still giving out awards in the category of ‘The First Black…’, let’s talk about Emmy award-winner and Master of None star Lena Waithe, representing again for Chi-town. Back in September, Waithe won an Emmy for ‘Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series’, making her the first black woman and the first black queer woman to do so. Waithe uses her writing as a form of activism, showing people of color in normal, everyday life. The 33-year-old was also named ‘Artist Of The Year’ by Out 100.
3. Tonya Boyd
In case you didn’t know, New York City has one of this nation’s most male-dominated fire departments. While there are only about fifty women in the entire Fire Department of New York, that didn’t stop our sister, Tonya Boyd, from showing up and showing out. She is now NYC’s first black woman deputy fire chief, which is a top-ranking title, in their 150-year history. This comes after twenty-one years of service. We’ll be the first to say, Tonya Boyd deserves a standing ovation because she is out here making history, all the way around!
4. Kimberly Wilson
Pinkies up for this black girl magic member, Kimberly Wilson. Wilson hails from Chicago, too. (Obviously, Chicago is the winner’s circle!) She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Columbia College of Chicago and earned a Master’s Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University, where she graduated with honors. Yaaaas! Wilson is also a member of the illustrious Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and dedicates her spare time to mentoring youth, speaking engagements, and traveling. As if that’s not enough magic for you, Wilson currently serves as Vice President, Affiliate Marketing for Disney and ESPN Media Networks, making her one of few senior-level black female executives in sports media.
5. Zandra Cunningham
This list of black girl magic wouldn’t be complete without our little sister, Zandra Cunningham. She is certainly making us proud as a 17-year-old Buffalo, New York entrepreneur. Launching her first business, Azariah’s Innocence, before her 10th birthday, Cunningham now owns a successful beauty and skincare line, Zandra Beauty, that includes three brands in her empire with a net worth of over $500,000. Yes, you read right! Her first products of lip balms and body butters were sold at a local farmer’s market. She joined the Kids Biz Small Business Development Center program at Buffalo State College and is the youngest to graduate from the all-adult class of the Minority and Women Entrepreneurial Program at the University At Buffalo. Cunningham is a graduate of Lucky Break University, as well as a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners. (Round of applause, please). This young mogul in the making is a nationally recognized motivational speaker, facilitator, and philanthropist.
There’s no way you were able to read this list and not feel an automatic sense of pride for the accomplishments of these women. We are our sisters’ keeper, which means that we should be taking every opportunity to support, encourage, inspire and celebrate each other. The black girl magic is in full effect!
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