I just watched Jesse Williams‘ accept his 2016 Humanitarian Award from the BET Awards. I know I’m late. I purposely didn’t want to watch it until I knew I would be writing this piece because I wanted my reaction to be real, genuine, and in the moment.
A stirring mix of sadness and hope. On one hand I felt inspired and empowered, but on the other I felt deflated. At the end of his speech he said something that really stuck with me. He said, “Just Because We’re Magic Doesn’t Mean We’re Not Real.”
What a time to be alive. To be a Black girl. To be a young, creative, progressive-thinking African woman in North America. To be dripping in #BlackGirlMagic.
Finding A Safe Space
What I love about the internet is that here, there’s room for everyone. There’s a space for everyone. I’ve seen such an outpouring of self-love from so many movements created to celebrate what it means and what it feels like to be a Black girl today and they really uplift me.
Whether it’s #MelaninMonday, #BlackoutDay, or any other day, these communities have seriously been inspiring me to be #FlexinMyComplexion and I love it. I love OGs like Black Fashion, Black Girls Killing It, and Fashion Bomb Daily who have been around for years offering an endless supply of representation and inspiration, even featuring photos of yours truly every now and then.
What I love about Jesse Williams and so many others like him is that they arouse discussion. They stop us in the middle of what we’re doing and shake us up. They say what so many want to say in the most beautiful, articulate ways. They encourage us to look deep within ourselves and see the beauty, strength, tenacity, and magic we overlooked.
So thank you, Jesse Williams, for that necessary reminder.
Top by Marques Almeida
Skirt by Kendall + Kylie
Shoes by Topshop
Shot by Roland Guballa