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Black girl magic is a beautiful thing, ain't it? The empowerment that comes with celebrating each other and riding for one another is one of the best feelings of security ever. To know that there are other sistas out there that relate to a lot of my journey, as a Black woman, is rewarding and reassures the bond we all have. Unfortunately, that isn’t always what I’ve seen.

I’m naturally an observant person and with that, there are harsh truths that have been  presented to me throughout life — truths that I hate bearing witness to, even though I know that the experiences will contribute to my growth. Through those observations, I’ve learned a lot from being exposed to unsettling realities within the Black girl magic realm. Requirements to being considered “Black girl magic” and conditions to what being a “carefree Black girl” is, have been placed and policed. I’m just trying to figure out why.

The character of a Black woman has always either been written or created by everyone but us, for the most part. It usually goes two ways: positive and described in an inspirational way, or the total opposite. Often times, Black women are pre-judged and not allotted the same privilege to feel, like our white counterparts. Our imperfections are more likely to be ridiculed than anyone else's. Being depicted and viewed with a magnifying glass is something that we’re sadly used to, often being placed in a light that's never flattered us and traits that don’t represent us (i.e. angry, bitter, agro, etc). From TV to film, particularly reality television, the majority of what the world is so used to seeing is us always going against one another. Feeding into the typecast that they want us to be, and then going out and treating one another just the same, is something that I’ll never fathom. I've seen many of us so quick to yell out “Black girl magic,” wanting to seemingly portray a sense of genuine sisterhood, when in fact, that’s the absolute opposite of what’s being demonstrated.

I was talking to my mom about this a few weeks ago, and she reminded me of a saddening certainty: Black women can be the harshest to other Black women, feeling the unnecessary need to look down upon one another based off of something as small as appearance, to one's social status. And although that is something that I resent, I couldn’t help but agree.

I think that there are so many people that are so used to settling, and in a way, embracing their insecurities and toxic ways, that they neglect to try to rid those ways, often times projecting them onto other people, even if those people are one and the same. Black women deal with so much in this world, from backbiting in the workplace, bulls**t societal “norms” and doors that we don’t even get a chance to approach, that we’ve had no other choice but to create our own opportunities — kicking in and creating doors tailored just for us. Reinforcing and restoring one another should be the only thing we are doing for one another, not racing each other. Aren’t we all fighting for the same thing, anyway?

Now look, I'm not the kid that hopes they aren't picked last in gym class, and I'm not the person to kiss anyone's a**, but I'm also not here to step on anyone's toes or dim another woman's light to put shine on my own, especially a Black woman. Black girl magic and women empowerment is a support system and should be utilized as such. It’s not something that should require an interview or be given as a pop quiz. Amplifying the voice of another Black woman shouldn't be a challenge or viewed as a threat, but instead as an opportunity for continued progression.

No one is perfect, no matter how amazing we are, so I don’t expect that. But what I do expect from us is genuine respect for one another and sincerity in our embracements.

It's so important for us to never forget the power behind our unity, even when division is thrown at us as our only option. Black girl magic is real and it is valued. The excellence that is Black women, the art that's created when we work together, is forever unmatched and there's literally room for all of us. From the corporate to the creative world, there's enough space and opportunity for everybody. The quicker that’s realized, the broader our platform gets.

So, climb down off that high horse, sis. You're not the only one putting in work and trying to live in her purpose.