In the age of being “woke”, some things just get lost in translation…
Calling all allies and supporters of the Black girl magic movement; it’s 2017 and the world’s current socio-political climate is in such a way that race relations need to be handled with special care. This is not to say that women of colour expect you to grab a copy of Bell Hooks or that you, as allies, need to start religiously reading Toni Morrison but it does mean that we are not here to tell you what is and isn’t appropriate to say.
Since social media is the place where most things are seen first and “Black Twitter” is the martyr of putting people in check, we decided to round-up some of our faves so that they can weigh in on what they are tired of hearing or simply just confused about.
And bear in mind, this is all in jest (mostly)… so read with a pinch of salt… You ready? Here we go.
@strOberrybOmpi: Jabulile Dlamini-Qwesha – Fashion Writer
“I love that you wear your hair natural, but when are you getting your next weave?”
Man, I can’t even begin to unpack how much of a mess that question is.
@DinikaGovender: Dinika Govender – Video Journalist and Freelance Writer
“Maybe if you spelled your name phonetically we’d be able to say it easier.”
Seen as an innocent suggestion for improvement, but maybe you forgot that this is what colonisers did too.
@palesakgasane: Palesa Kgasane – Content Producer
“Okay, black girl magic is great but what about white girl magic?”
So first of all, I have come across this one more times than I would like to answer. Let’s be clear, black girl magic is not an erasure of white girls being magical or any other ethnicity, for that matter. It is a recognition of our beauty and our abilities beyond the fact that society has deemed us otherwise for centuries. White girl magic is not a movement that needs to be in practice because white women historically, haven’t been told that they are unattractive or less so than black women so you do not need a movement to affirm this. You feel?
LoveslavePhola: Phola Ayanda – Social Media Manager
“OMG! I almost didn’t recognize you. Do you change your hair every week?”
No. Just no.
@HazelKimani: Hazel Kimani – Content Creator
“I can’t imagine me being a single mother because of how strong you are”
Like is that even a compliment? What am I even supposed to say to that? The most confusing part is that the girl said it with envy as if my magical black girl strength is an option.
“Why do you love Beyoncé so much?”
It annoys me not because you’re looking past very obvious reasons but because you’re annoyed enough by her fame to approach me about it, it makes me wish you were this annoyed by racism.
And last but not least.
@bu_radleyy: Busang Senne – Content producer says:
What I am so DONE with hearing is the relentless defence of cultural appropriation under the guise of ‘multiculturalism.
From the use of Native American headdress, bindis, and braids, it’s lekker to co-opt and decontextualise the cultures of POC (that’s people of colour for the uninformed at the back) as costumes, but not so much fun when it comes to stanning (supporting) them in meaningful ways. Let’s bury this in 2017, shall we?
Alright with all that said.. we hope that you understand that the nuances of race do not just boil down to “the past being the past” No.. you cannot say we should “get over it” and you most definitely can’t touch our hair.
Just do better. Please.