Sandra on Black Girl Magic

I am 36. I think that officially qualifies as old. I’m scared. Can I say that? I’m not sure I have the right to be, if I’m being honest. It’s in these pages where I am honest.

I’ve made something of my life. My future is secure. I’ve made investments and I have a financial woman who’s going to make sure the money continues to grow. At least I’ll know I didn’t completely fail.

I can’t help feeling like I’m still failing in some way. The money is there, but is my mom proud of me? Really proud. Am I doing the best I can? Living my best life? Making an impact?

I’m thinking differently. I used to be afraid of shining too brightly, or being who I am and celebrating me. But now we have #BlackGirlMagic and it’s doing something to us. Such a powerful movement, so necessary.

Imagine you are the hated and maybe even the hunted. Your features are appropriated. Your style diminished. Your qualities demeaned. All that is you is mocked unless your qualities are in a white body. Imagine being hated by everybody, and I do mean everybody, and all of a sudden you hear the words “Black Girl Magic”.

It becomes everything. An expression of self love -- black girl love. A celebration of us. A non-stop party. And when it happens, the most influential women in the world are black: Beyonce, Bozoma Saint John, Oprah, Ava, Nicki, Rihanna -- everybody wants to be them and they’re just like you.

What an incredible group of women! I hope little girls can avoid all the negative stuff I had to face before discovering how amazing we are.

Sometimes even I need a reminder. We’re incredible. Kickass. We’re everything. People say they hate us ‘cause they ain’t us. Just remember those words when people try to tear you down. Those who are the most vocal, most negative, are just jealous. Keep doing you. And if you fall, know there’s a whole group of sister friends out there who will catch you.


It took me a long time to figure that part out. Don’t repeat my mistake. I wasted so much time trying to figure out who to trust and who had my best interest at heart; more likely than not it was black women. They -- we -- are your closest allies and biggest cheerleaders.

You know who my biggest cheerleader is and was? My mom. I don’t know which tense to use when I talk about her. She’s still here in body, but her mind is not what it was. I can’t even think about it.  The what comes next part. And it’s coming too quickly.