Back in October, I saw an image on Instagram that said, “protect your Black girl magic.” This image got me to thinking about how I protect my own Black gyrl* magic. I didn’t want to explore this by myself so I posed the question in a Facebook group that I created as a space for sistas to “just be.” The sistahs’ responses prompted me to make this question the 2017 she BLOOMS black, guest bloomer (blogger) question of the year. Below are the original responses from the Facebook group and stay tuned to read guest bloomers’ responses throughout the year.
*I use gyrl and girl interchangeably. My personal preference is to spell it with an “y,” because it aligns with the less prejudicial and less hierarchical spelling of women, with an “y,” womyn.
How do you protect your Black girl magic?
Annette Billings: I write fearlessly—so that the words spoken about me are my own. I also listen well so that I honor my sisters’ magic also.
Keli Stewart: I check in with myself/pulse check throughout the day. I suppose it’s really actively being mindful of where I am and the emotional state that I may be in and I move from this place alternating or shifting where need be. Very protective of myself these days because I know my value to my family. Some days if my energy ain’t right, I stay in until I can redirect it. Because I’ve grown more sensitive to the energy of others. I’m preserving myself.
Kia-Rai Michelle Prewitt: As the only Black psychology intern in a university counseling center in a cohort of 3 (2 White males), the only Black postdoc in a cohort of 13 (1 other woman of color and most of the rest white women), and now graduate psychologist at a VA hospital where I am 1 of 4 Black psychologists out of 67 or 68 total psychologists I have identified psychologically safe people and spaces to be me. I have also used my voice to discuss issues relevant to providing services to Black people and I voice to my colleagues my realities as a Black woman. And of course my faith guides me. That’s how I protect my Black Girl Magic.
Kali Ferguson: I sing to myself in front of some sacred books/figures I have. Sometimes chant, sometimes pretend I’m on somebody’s stage. Also LOTS of time to myself and a getting-stricter rule not to hang out with anyone who drains my energy if at all possible. I also sit in nature and dance, though I wanna do that more often. Don’t watch the news, put a piece of paper on the side of my computer where ads and info I don’t need are, and follow/friend other magical Black women. Which means most Black women, but only those who know it and share it with their sisters!
Angela Jackson-Brown: I write Black and Brown stories and I mentor other Black and Brown girls…helping and encouraging them to tell their stories.
Felicia Holman: Unapologetically saying “NO” to others when I need to prioritize ME!