Where does Black Girl Magic come from?
#blackgirlmagic dates to 2011 on Twitter, though it might have appeared earlier elsewhere. One writer in Teen Vogue calls #blackgirlmagic a movement. This term was used a lot in 2016, especially following Essence’s announcement in January that their February issue would celebrate #blackgirlmagic. It also got a lot of play following the release of Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade, which is about the struggles and triumphs of black women, especially those living in the United States. Lemonade prominently features a handful of powerful and extremely accomplished black women, including the record-breaking tennis player Serena Williams, and actor and activist Amandla Stenberg.
— Aliyha (@staytrillhill) October 25, 2018
Examples of Black Girl Magic
Who uses Black Girl Magic?
Both the phrase and hashtag have their fans and critics. Fans of it revel in the opportunity to recognize black women they appreciate with a catchy expression and social media friendly hashtag. Critics take issue with the fact that this phrase attributes admirable qualities of black women to the supernatural. Despite the fact that people use the term to flatter, to say that black women are using “magic” to succeed can be seen as demeaning or belittling by some.
While this phrase and hashtag are frequently used by black women, this is not always the case. In September 2016 Hillary Clinton said “…black girl magic is real” at the Black Women’s Agenda Symposium Workshop.
try and tell me that black girl magic doesn't exist … pic.twitter.com/MhR6IKUeMg
— Mags (@Magdahx) October 26, 2018
This is not meant to be a formal definition of Black Girl Magic like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Black Girl Magic that will help our users expand their word mastery.