The revolution will not be televised. The revolution will not be televised. The revolution will not be televised. It won’t be colonized, bleached, straightened, masculinized, or even recognized as disruption. It will come in the early morning, wearing a dress, with gapped teeth. The revolution will be twisted in shea butter and castor oil. The revolution will be anointed by the freedom dreams of grandma and auntie. The revolution will be a fete for Audre, Fannie Lou, Zora, and Bell. The revolution will be a conjuring of all the black girl magic centuries deep with collective power.
On October 27, 2016, Solange Knowles and Melissa Harris-Perry will share a stage in CEMEX auditorium to discuss the prospering social movement, #BlackGirlMagic. Sponsored by the Institute of Diversity in the Arts, Stanford Arts and Real Industry, the gathering is a showcased event of the podcast Microphone Check.
Fifty years after the “Black is Beautiful” movement, #BlackGirlMagic is an image-based, narrative-driven call to recognition. #BlackGirlMagic is a movement chronicled with social media beginnings, but its conception expands into generations of Black feminine resistance. #BlackGirlMagic is the assertion that Black women and girls will live. We will live abundantly with love, respect and protection despite the institutional, communal and interpersonal violences that threaten our existence.
#BlackGirlMagic is a visual, digital and international movement that is showcasing Black women and girls asserting that our lives matter. It is a collective protest and celebration that centers the positivity of being a Black girl. Too often in media do we hear about our annihilations and pain. But the truth is, there is so much beauty and power in each of us.
#BlackGirlMagic names us as contributors to the awakening of a cultural shift that invites us to see ourselves as whole.
Revolution is defined as an overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system. I am not advocating for a bloody war, but I am ready for a radical change in the well-being of Black lives, Black women’s lives, Black queer lives, Black trans lives, Black disabled lives and all Black lives in the margins. I am ready for a radical change that recognizes the magic in all of us. The revolution starts with the people. It is in our culture.
Solange and Melissa Harris-Perry are instrumental in this change. With the release of Solange’s latest album, A Seat at the Table, #BlackGirlMagic is felt through melodic verses of self-love and hurt. Solange gifts us with both musical and visual ode to the resilience and virtue of Blackness. She is the artist generating cultural productions for our souls.
Melissa Harris-Perry is a public scholar at Wake Forest University. She has written and spoken extensively about the political recognition of Black women and Black people. Former host of “Melissa Harris-Perry” on MSNBC, she is an award-winning author and known advocate for Black lives. She is a scholar and public intellectual contributing to the naming of both our social conditions and our responses.
The colliding of Black girl magic from these two cultural producers will be a beautiful sight on Stanford’s campus. It is coming in the wake of visits from creator Issa Rae and legal scholar Kimberle Crenshaw during the initial weeks of the quarter. I hope CEMEX is filled with as much #BlackGirlMagic as possible, and that this talk inspires all of us to seek the magic we posses in our very existences.
As #BlackGirlMagic continues to grow, I am excited to see what the material effects will be. The revolution will not televised, but I hope it is indigenized, Blackened, queered and recognized as a product of our dreaming. May the revolution be filled with all the Black girl magic in the universe.
— Mysia Anderson ’17
Former Daily columnist
Contact Mysia Anderson at mysia ‘at’ stanford.edu.