So, I’ve never bothered to explain the title of this blog, though it’s probably self-explanatory that #blackprofessionalmagic was inspired and derived from the #blackgirlmagic movement. #BlackGirlMagic celebrates the untouchable greatness of Black girls across the world. It acknowledges the inability of our unique beauty, intellect, and talents to be replicated by any other group; it encourages us to walk in courageous boldness, no matter how hard society tries to tear us down; it reminds us that we were purposefully and intricately designed to inspire and impact those around us in exceptional, enviable ways. Let’s face it, y’all, there’s really nothing better than being a Black girl.
I created #blackprofessionalmagic to apply the same pillars of #blackgirlmagic to the broader demographic of black professionals. We are such a distinct segment in the workforce, working hard to create a new status quo while defying the labels and limitations that society is so quick to place on us. While I could actually go into thorough detail on at least 100 unique reasons for why our Blackness is magical, I’ll try to condense my thoughts into three overarching points for the sake of efficiency 🙂
1. There is, quite literally, nothing that can stop us. The more I learn about my ancestors, the more I study the history that was never taught to me in school, the more conversations I have with the elders in my family, the more observations I make on a daily basis, the more I am completely and utterly in awe of and inspired by Black people. We are a relentless, resilient force of individuals that has a the consistent capacity to withstand and endure hardship and difficulty like no other group of people on this planet. Western society has continuously tried to break us, strip us of our culture, exploit our abilities and contributions, and do everything in its power not to see us rise to our full potential. Nevertheless, we wake up everyday, ready to show the world what we’re capable of. We aren’t victims in a sad narrative of oppression. We are victorious warriors, unafraid to risk our lives for justice, and unafraid of redefining what’s possible.
2. It’s so painfully obviously that everyone wants to be us. I don’t have to familiarize you all with the concept of cultural appropriation, right? It is so real. The things that we’ve been doing for centuries that are simply ingrained in our culture become mainstream and worth talking about once a white person decides to steal it and call it theirs. I won’t get into too much more detail here, so some quick examples include: our hairstyles, our music, our dialect, our food, our clothing, our dancing, and let’s not forget our bodies. Appropriation is both painful and ironic. It’s painful because, well, it’s theft. It’s taking something that belongs to someone else, ignorantly using it without a true understanding of what it is, and being praised, acknowledged and accepted for it, without giving any credit to its author. It’s ironic because while white celebrities get called chic and edgy for wearing cornrows, the black woman applying to the job in Corporate America is forced to assimilate into white dominant society and not wear a hairstyle that is authentic to her own community. So, it’s really a lose-lose. But for the purposes of this post, I choose to focus on the fact that we are so enviable, so desirable, and so original that people try so hard to become what is natural and effortless to us.
3. Despite all of the negative rhetoric, we still love being Black. The stereotypes, one-sided arguments, misplaced blame, abuse of power, deliberate oppression… after centuries of enduring and interacting with the realities of being Black in America on a daily basis, you’d think we’d want to snap our fingers and turn into something else. But the magical part of all of this is that no matter the negativity, we still have so much love and appreciation for who we are. We don’t run away from pain–we turn it into prosperity. We don’t cower in fear of the status quo–we stand boldly in interrupting it. Michelle Obama said it best in her most recent speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention–when they go low, we go high. No matter how low society tries to drag us, no matter how hard they try to degrade us, no matter how hard they try to hide our brilliance and squash our impact, we are powerfully, purposefully, persistently in love with our blackness.