protect yo magic, 2017

she: girls/womyn*     blooms: uncovering who we are     black: unapologetically

I’m sooooo turnt about my 2017 guest bloomers. *wait, did “turnt” die in 2016…lol lol lol*  I’m most excited that there will be intergenerational responses to this year’s question.

I asked Black womyn, who I know in various areas of my life, to answer the following question: How do you protect your Black Girl Magic?

2016’s, guest bloomer question was all about being seen, not hiding and how do we make ourselves visible as Womyn/Black. I think collectively, the dimensions, layers and complexity of Black womyn were more visible in 2016, we showed the world our Black Girl Magic. But now, in 2017, we must do the work of protecting our Black Girl Magic. Don’t get me wrong, we been magical, since forever, so I wanted to provide a space for us to further expound not only on being “magic,” but to share with one another how we protect it.

2017 is about being keenly aware of our magic and our mattering. To sustain our magic, we must also be keenly aware of how we guard ourselves and our energy. she blooms black is all about uncovering who we are, but in 2017 we will explore how we cover ourselves, aka protect our magic, while simultaneously continuing to uncover how damn magical we are.

I digress, in October I saw this image on Instagram and it got me thinking about how I protect my own Black Girl Magic.

I didn’t want to explore this by myself, so I first posed this question in a Facebook group that I created as a space for sistahs to “just be.” Sistahs’ responses, and my thought that this self-inquiry is key to our survival, prompted me to make this the 2017 guest bloomer question of the year.

So what is Black Girl Magic?

“Black Girl Magic is a term used to illustrate the universal awesomeness of black girls & womyn. It’s about celebrating anything we deem particularly dope, inspiring, or mind-blowing about ourselves.” CaShawn Thompson 

“Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.” Jesse Williams

(*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 way I spell women, with an “y,” womyn.)

Now that you got the backstory, here are the bios of the 2017 Guest Bloomers who answered the question: How do you protect your Black Girl Magic? Please note: this will be a yearlong dialogue, so there will be more bios added and responses posted throughout 2017.

2017 Guest Bloomers:

  • Dr. Tiffany A. Flowers is an author, literacy advocate, blogger, and academic. She has published over sixteen books for children in grades 1-8. Currently, she is working on her next writing project for teen girls. You can find out more about her work by logging on to her website or blog.
  • Mary E. Boria: “I am a child of the 60’s from a small Michigan town. I found my political voice when I came to Chicago in 1966. I joined the Black Panthers in 1968 and expected to be apart of the revolution. Instead I’ve raised 3 beautiful children ( and 2 step children) now delight at being a grandmother of 9. Professionally a social worker/educator and craftivist by vocation.”
  • Hey! I’m Nezabelle. My life is full of inconsistencies and uncertainties; but also lots of passion and beautiful people. As I enter the latter years of my 30s, I’ll use this space to chronicle my life.. what I like to call “The Balancing Act”. I am the sister of a breast cancer survivor, the daughter of a beautiful woman who’s battling mental illness and a courageous man who’s fought many demons. I’m co-parenting a teenage son who is a bright budding scholar and athlete, but parenting in this day and age comes along with its own set of challenges. I am a survivor of epilepsy, a good friend to some amazing men and women, and these days I’m working very hard to change careers. Many days I like to pretend I’m not running on E., but we all know where that gets me. Here’s to living life on my own terms.
  • Nina Rae is a songwriter, writer, and singer from Chicago, Illinois. She is currently married with five children and exploring the best the world has to offer. Her black girl magic is expression and you can find her works as ½ of duo Innosphere with their album release entitled Shine and her debut solo album Born To Love on any musical outlet.
  • Liz S. Alexander MA, MSW, is a thought leader, public servant and advocate for youth in the criminal and juvenile justice system.  Liz is the founder of She Dreams of Freedom, a national consulting firm that provides services to the private, public and government sector-serving girls in the criminal and juvenile justice system between the ages of 13-24. For more information about SDF, check out
  • Felicia Beckett is a Spiritual Alchemist whose mission is to create a safe and sacred space for women to process and facilitate their own transformational inward journey by providing navigational tools that will assist them in reclaiming their identities, voices and power. Navigational tools that include writing, the arts, music, processes for spiritual healing and the power of collective sisterhood by the guidance of the spirit and universal truths. Published Poet/Writer, Researcher, Educator, Prayer Counseling Minister, Facilitator, Trained Anti-Racist Community Organizer, Geographer, Womanist, and Co-Founder of Sister Sankofa.
  • Pilar Audain Reed, M.S., M.P.H. Community Healer, Dance Instructor, Spiritual Guide, Mama, Queen, Community Activist, Youth Advocate, Member-South Chicago Steering Committee, Board Member-West Indian Dance Co., Daddy Trinidadian, Mama Creole. #BlackBreed  “Kreate with me:” “Meditate with me:”

*womyn is used as a less patriarchal and prejudicial spelling of women.

#SheBloomsBlack #nicolejhanrea