I want us all to remember who is actually making the magic here. Who among us are the ghetto mermaids shopping at corner stores for lunches made of honey buns and cheese curls through thick ass bullet proof glass. I want us all to remember that the magic Beyonce just made isn’t possible without the girl who’s trying to figure out if she has enough money to make it to her job on time or is on probation for shoplifting kids clothes from Burlington.
I want us to remember the girls wearing the cheap bamboo earrings from the beauty supply store turning their earlobes grey and rough. The dark skinned girl getting laughed at because she’s wearing sunshine-colored lipstick from the same store, because she’s got on tights from Rainbow, and because she’s walking these streets until she scrounges enough money for her bus pass. This isn’t a Beyonce diss; I just want us to remember how vital the black girls who get dissed and laughed at, called sluts, thots and hoodrats are to this thing we call #blackgirlmagic.
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These are the same black girls that go missing and nobody gives a damn. Turn up dead covered with bleach and get blamed for it. Get murdered by her baby daddy over diaper money and nobody even holds a vigil that ain’t from the same block as her. I loved #formation. I want us to love us more. I want us to love poor black girls and women so much that we don’t even bat an eye when a celebrity-black or not- claims their love for us because our love for us is evident at every turn. I want black girls and women to be valued even when they don’t know the latest social justice language, can’t read above a 6th grade level, or that their lives are even #intersectional.
I want us to know the names of murdered black girls and women like we know the names of black men shot down by police. I want us to care about the messy black girls with 7 kids and 5 baby daddies who can’t get housing because she did a three month bid two years back. I want us to care about the black mothers being forced to have sex with their landlords in exchange for housing because nobody is really out here taking section 8. I want us to care about us before it gets hot on the radio. I want us to remember who is helping to make the magic that gave all of black america a visceral reaction.
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I want us to remember what the cost of that magic, that ephemeral beauty is. The magic that really made the #worldstop. And I want formation to just be a tiny example of us paying attention to us and loving us fiercely, not only when it’s commodified and cool. I want us to remember where that intellectual labor, that emotional and psychic labor comes from. #Blackgirlmagic is more than an anthem to sing to, it’s how we survive in a world that don’t love us or give a fuck about us everyday.
Joy KMT is self-taught&queer&black&femme&hood&poet&mother&&witch&lover. She works from the possibility of the personal to be collectively transformational. Her work often blends the magical with the reality of living at the crossroads of multiplicities. You can catch her at www.joykmt.com.
[Feature Image: A photo taken from pop singer Beyonce’s video featuring a dark-skinned person with long blue hair falling pass their shoulders. The person is wearing gold hoop earrings and a silver septum ring in their nose. They are standing in beauty supply store with their hands on their chin.]