By Tyresha Vaughan-Blanding
What is Black Girl Magic? What makes it so mysterious yet powerful? On September 9, 2019 I learned what makes it so mysterious and powerful. Black Girl Magic Meet-Up is led by the gorgeous Simone Terrell.
There’s something so warming and heartfelt about seeing young black college women come together. When I stepped into the room it felt so welcoming with laughter filled to the brim and smiles from ear to ear. In a world where black women often get attached to negative stereotypes, it was so refreshing to see a safe space to be ourselves and open and honest with each other. If asking any young black women what Black Girl Magic is, I can guarantee you the answers will vary and differ however, they all will be well thought out and none of the will be wrong.
This event started out with icebreakers so the nervousness would die down and everyone would become comfortable with being open. The first question was, “Who is a black woman who influences you?” Many answers stemmed to mothers and grandmothers who are often the backbone of the black family household.
Statically mothers and grandmothers often wear many hats in the black household, by being parents, a cook, a housekeeper all while still juggling many jobs or a stable career. While others said black women that are seen in a different light such as media, athletics, authors, and singers. This is what got the conversation going but it didn’t stop here, this was only the beginning.
The next question that was asked was, “What do you love about being a black woman?” The conversation that sparked was nothing less than empowering. Our group went to talk about how taking up spaces is necessary, especially in a world that will not voluntarily give someone that is a woman but also black that luxury.
Also, not realizing how prepared we were for a world like this, without knowing it, but watching the way that the black women in our lives inspired us on how to maneuver in spaces where it is openly known people like us are not wanted. As we talked longer the fellowship got deeper about how taking space is not only important but necessary . And being the person to not be afraid to take up that space and have those hard-uncomfortable conversations.
As the event went on, we got into some child’s play with arts and crafts. As you can see in the picture, we depicted what Black Girl Magic meant to us individually within our artwork. All different shades from toffee to mahogany women came together to express themselves with a community that looks like them, makes them feel comfortable in being themselves, and having a sense of support right here on Millersville Campus.
In conclusion, no matter how big or small an event, you never know how that event can impact or influence your outlook with hearing different answers and perspectives from different people. The richness in knowledge, sense of self, expression, and openness that this group of women had at this meet and greet was refreshing, mind blowing, and uplifting in every way possible.
To know in a world that you have other people that look like you know your challenges and are still reaching for the same goals as you adds a little more flame to your fire to know that you aren’t in this struggle of life alone. I think this Black Girl Magic event did just that, boosted spirits and showed black college women that there is a sense of community for them at a PWI such as Millersville. Additionally, that they have sisters all around them with different takes on life and skill sets to call on if they ever felt they couldn’t do it alone.
All in all, the Black Girl Magic Meet-Up was a success. The mysteriousness of strength that black women contain is intriguing yet empowering. And to see that in a setting such as this one was much needed especially for incoming freshman and transfer for them to know and to feel that they have a community that stand behind them that looks like them. A warm feeling of having a home away from home.