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Black Girls Have Always Been Our Superheroes. Here’s the Proof (A History Lesson)

Black Girls Have Always Been Our Superheroes. Here’s the Proof (A History Lesson)

If you use social media often, there are high chances that you've come across or interacted with the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic. You may have even used it in several posts. However, have you ever stopped to think about its origin? 

We decided to look at the history of the hashtag and why it became so popular. 

The backstory of #BlackGirlMagic

The hashtag was created in 2013 by feminist writer Cashawn Thompson. After seeing many hateful articles written about black women, Thompson came up with the hashtag. One particular article she cited was by Psychology Today. 

In 2011, Psychology Today published the article, "Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?". It used data from a previous study to claim that black women are objectively less attractive than other women. Needless to say that the article offended many women, especially black women, rightfully so. 

 

The Psychology Today article that sparked outrage. Image source WUSA-TV.

 

The article received a lot of backlash and outrage from people all over. Psychology Today tried to do some damage control by changing the title, but that did not help. They ended up retracting the article altogether. 

Articles such as these made Thompson take to Twitter in 2013 to create a hashtag that celebrates black women. At first, Thompson wrote, "Black girls are magic", and it became the hashtag #BlackGirlsAreMagic. The hashtag was shortened to what we now know as #BlackGirlMagic.

The #BlackGirlMagic Movement

The hashtag became widely popular on social media. There are thousands and thousands of pictures and tweets under the hashtag.

It isn't just a hashtag anymore; it is a movement for celebrating and uplifting black women. It celebrates all black women in all their beauty and intellectual prowess. 

It is a way that black women have made space for themselves to celebrate and connect. The hashtag has gained a lot of traction, and prominent figures such as Barack Obama have spoken about it.

Black Girls Have Always Been Magic

For many of us who enjoy ancient African history, we know that black women have always done incredible things. We have chosen to highlight just a few of them. 

Queen Idia from the Benin Kingdom was a warrior queen. She led many armies into battle and became known as the "only woman who went to war". 

 

Illustrations of Queen Idia alongside her family from our children's book, Idia of the Benin Kingdom.

 

Queen Njinga/Nzinga Mbande of Angola resisted the Portuguese invasion for 30 years. She is also known for being an astute diplomat and visionary military leader. 

 

Illustration of Queen Njinga on the right from our children's book, Njinga of Ndongo and Matamba

 

Hatshepsut of Egypt was the fifth pharaoh of Egypt. She was one of the most successful pharaohs in Egyptian history, and she is known for establishing crucial trade routes and funding building initiatives. 

Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar is well known for her effort to strengthen Madagascar's political and cultural sovereignty. She put policies in place to make the island country self-reliant. 

These are just a handful of the incredible Black Women in history. Black girls are and have always been magic, and we celebrate them in all their achievements, beauty, and power.

 

References

https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/local/dc/more-than-just-a-hashtag-blackgirlmagic-is-a-movement-that-originated-in-dc/65-515847209

https://edition.cnn.com/2016/02/24/living/black-girl-magic-feat/index.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/05/psychology-today-apologizes-black-women-less-attractive-article/351205/

https://www.essence.com/news/misty-copeland-president-obama-conversation-black-girl-magic/ 

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