When Everyone is Talking About Black Girl Magic, But You Don’t Feel Magical

-To Black Women: You is kind. You is smart. You is beautiful. You is magic!

Truth be told, I felt like a real live badass when I was working on my master’s degree. I thought I was the epitome of Black Girl Magic, and NO ONE could tell me I wasn’t. I excelled in my coursework and employed a critical consciousness for advocacy and the empowerment of my fellow marginalized folks. On graduation day, I strutted across the stage (like QUEEN BEY herself) and became the first person in my family with an advanced college degree. I felt magic. I was magic.                

Since graduation, I’ve been facing difficulty in my search for MEANINGFUL employment.  I consistently apply for jobs, go on interviews, get far in the interview process, but unfortunately, I haven’t received a job offer. I am growing weary of the trials and tribulations of the job search.  Quite frankly, I did not obtain an advanced college degree only to remain in an entry-level job.

My sista scholar recently reminded me that I’ll be successful because I am “Black Girl Magic.” However, in these trying times, I DO NOT feel magical. Sometimes I feel as if I am letting the whole movement down. Sometimes I feel like an imposter in my own skin. How could I be magic, when I feel so damn inadequate?  This question lingered like the summer's heat in Georgia.  It forced me to reconsider how I thought about Black Girl Magic.  

We are quick to emphasize Black Girl Magic when we succeed, but we rarely talk about our magic in the context of our own shortcomings. But Baaby (New Orleans Voice), that’s when we need it the most. Let us remember that Black Girl Magic is a movement design to celebrate the beauty, the power, and the RESILIENCY of Black women. A commencement ceremony is simply the culmination of all of our magical moments, and it is a direct result of our everyday magic.  

Black Girl Magic is routinely navigating white, male dominated spaces that were not designed for us. Black Girl Magic is knowing your “black women focused” research may not be published in the certain journals but conducting the research anyway. It is finding the energy to apply for jobs after continuous rejections. Black Girl Magic is gaining the strength to walk into an institution and work alongside Trump-Supporting-Susan, All-Lives-Matter-Matthew, and even Hotepping-Tyrone.

We were not supposed to succeed, and that makes our journey harder. BUT... LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT OUR MAGIC!  

Black Girl Magic is being disregarded, discredited, and disparaged but channeling the ancestral strength of Black women to persevere.

"Aint I a woman?" "Yes, I am strong Black woman, and I cannot be intimidated."  

-Natasha M. Lee