It may only be February, but I’m calling it – 2016 is going to be a great year to be a black girl. Just look at what we’ve gotten so far:
1. Amandla Stenberg Being A Badass
Amandla Stenberg is out here reppin’ black feminism for the younger generation and I am here for it. It took me a long time to find the language to express how I felt about being a black girl/woman in America, but now black feminism is more accessible than ever. How amazing is that?
2. Rick/Michonne Possibly Being A Thing
What kind of black girl nerd would I be if I didn’t bring my fandoms into this? Richonne is about to be canon, ya’ll – I believe that. If I’m wrong, I will take a break from crying to come back and edit this post, but one of the best black female characters on a genre show in a long time is about to get a romantic subplot (with the lead!) instead of being regulated to “sexless POC supporting character who of course could never have a love story lol” category and that is so dope to me.
3. “Black Is Beautiful”
Black women are being more vocal than ever in our self-love, and I love it. For me, the importance of more mainstream representation has nothing to do with gaining acceptance from others – it’s about creating more visibility so that future generations of black girls will see more positive images of themselves out in the world instead of a never-ending slew of anti-black misogynistic bullshit.
4. “Ok ladies, now let’s get in formation.”
Ya’ll know I had to talk about “Formation.” Beyonce has done it again. Black girls, collectively, haven’t been this hype since that album drop in ’14. And no one can blame us. One of the biggest pop stars of all time dropped a video out of nowhere where she sings about natural hair, loving her “Negro nose,” and being unapologetically black.
And as if I had any edges left at this point, she went and performed it live for the first time during one of the biggest televised events of the year and had the nerve to have all-black backup dancers with 4c hair dressed like Black Panthers.
I keep thinking I’m neutral on Beyonce but then she goes and does shit like this. I can’t even take it. There’s levels to this shit. (Others have pointed out that “Formation” isn’t without its problematic aspects, but that’s something I need to think harder about and research more before commenting on.)
What a time to be alive, ya’ll. Things are hard out here but we’re fighting back and uplifting each other more than ever. I think we’re about to enter into a new era of Afrocentrism and I. Am. So. Ready.
Consider this your call to action. Rise from the ashes of whatever’s been holding you back. Embrace who you are in all the ways you weren’t brave enough for in the past. Tell your story. Take strength from the women around you – even if “around you” means on your Twitter timeline or your Tumblr feed – and make 2016 (and every year after) your year. I’m rooting for you.
Did I forget any great #BlackGirlMagic moments this year? Leave your thoughts in the comments!