One of my favorite sweatshirts has ‘Black Girls Are Magic’ across the front. It isn’t too fancy – just a black hoodie with white scripted font. I wore it to work a month or so ago. I’m walking down the hallway and one of my coworkers is walking towards me. She pauses when she gets close to read my sweatshirt and says, ‘Let’s talk about that.’ She’s an older white woman – as nice as she can be. But an alarm went off inside my head about how terrible the conversation would probably end. I sassily said, ‘There isn’t anything to talk about!’ and kept on my way.
Part of me wishes I would’ve stopped and heard her out. Maybe she wanted to tell me how much she loved my sweatshirt and she wanted to get one too! I highly doubt it, but hey! I’ll never know. Maybe she wanted to express concern over the latest police incidents involving black men and women. I HIGHLY doubt that too – but then again, you never know! What I *DO* know is I wasn’t in the mood to hear her say anything about how all girls are magic or what about white girls or how my sweatshirt was divisive and she didn’t like it. Because that wouldn’t have ended well for either of us. She’d have said something crazy and I would have given her a quick read about the amazingness of black girls and how everything is not for everyone all of the time. There probably would have been a few choice expletives skillfully arranged in said read that would result in an urgent call from HR.
I know, I jumped to one helluva conclusion by preemptively shutting that conversation down. But consider the alternative. My imaginary description of her wanting to offer a rebuttal to Black Girls Are Magic isn’t so imaginary. It happens ALL OF THE TIME (see Black Lives Matter). On Twitter some misguided individual decided to create #whitegirlsaremagic. Instead of focusing on what they thought made them magical, people used that hashtag to discuss how and why they thought they were better than Black girls. Do me a solid – check out #blackgirlsaremagic. The discussion is waaaaaaay different. It’s about positive affirmations from Black women – young and old. And as a Black person living in a society where it has become an everyday feat just to live one more day, I don’t have the patience for those kinds of shenanigans.
If you don’t think Black girls are magic, it is your opinion – and it is WRONG. 🙂
Just don’t have anything to say about it around me. Outside of work, I’m not worried about an urgent call from HR and that quick read with skillfully placed expletives is available at anytime.
Note: I don’t receive anything special for you buying one. Just the warm and fuzzy feeling knowing you have a pretty amazing addition to your wardrobe!