We call it #blackgirlmagic when a black woman makes a feast from the scraps. When she sings the morning after the murder. When she obliterates every obstacle in her path. When she forgives the perpetrator. When she tenderly wraps up the anguish and sorrow of others. When she turns her guts into glory. When she paints with her blood and sweat and tears. When she still shows up. Still beats the odds. Still loves.
We forget that magic is the power to make the impossible happen. The reason we are so miraculous is that they didn’t expect anyone to do anything with what we’ve been given. We were meant to nurse white babies while ours returned to dust, to starve when given the scraps, to collapse under the strain of the whip, to cave in under fear of Jim Crow, to be too fearful to steal people away to freedom, to not feel pain, to not want, want, want with every pound of our heartbeat, to keep our heads down, our souls invisible, and our mouths shut.
They didn’t expect us to demand more, to have a brain and a spine, to pair a sharp wit with a sharper tongue, to take pig intestines, wilted greens, and cornmeal and make delicacies, to rise with both love and anger, to overthrow slave ships, to come after the government with fire burning in our chests, to sacrifice for our communities, to take the disdain of almost every society in the world and say “Fuck it. We’re still amazing”. Best believewe can take the crumbs and make it into a masterpiece that feeds your body and your soul, but that does not mean we deserve to keep being handed the scraps.
We shouldn’t have to carve beauty out of tragedy, wring sweet out of bitter, and magick joy out of thin air for you to consider us almost human.
This article was written by Miyah Byrd