A Recap of all the #BlackGirlMagic in 2016

Black Girl Magic is a phenomenon that took flight back in 2013 by blogger Cashawn Thompson. For Thompson, the phrase was simply a tweet that was inspired by the triumphant strides that women of color had been making over the past year. 

“I say ‘magic’ because it’s something that people don’t always understand,” Thompson said in a phone interview with The LA Times. Black Girl Magic is a metaphor of the apparent success of the black woman which almost comes out of thin air because it is not expected from her. Thompson curated the hashtag #BlackGirlMagic whenever she noticed a positive achievement made by black women. Just like the terminology ‘on fleek’, black girl magic went viral. Ever since then, the hashtag has been used willingly by everyone. Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, referenced it in her speech at the Black Women’s Agenda Symposium.

Since Thompson’s ground-breaking phrase flooded the media in 2013, black women all over have soared to tremendous heights, and not just celebrities. As we approach a new year of new possibilities, we decided to take a trip down memory lane to remind you of how powerful black girl magic really is.

March 31.  “I became fascinated with bees. I learned all about what they do for me and our ecosystem. So then I thought, what if I make something that helps honeybees and uses my Great Granny Helen's recipe?” -Mikaila Ulmer

Back in 2014, Mikaila Ulmer, pitched BeeSweet, a lemonade with her great-grandmother’s secret recipe infused with her cuteness. Ulmer’s pitch to ABC’s Shark Tank landed her a $60,000 investment from Fubu CEO, Daymond John. In March 2016, the sixth-grader expanded her contract with Whole Foods supermarket, gaining a total of 62 stores. 

April 9. “It felt really silly to be called brave, at first, when I did most of my activism from the comfort of my bed with some popcorn and some old episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” -Amandla Stenberg

18-year-old Amandla Stenberg made headlines after the riveting speech that she gave at her “My Authenticity is My Activism” at UCLA’s Royce Hall. This wasn’t the first time Stenberg went viral. She is deemed one of the most influential teenagers in America with her video history project “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows” and her co-directed series #BlackGirlMagic for Teen Vogue. 

April 23.  “I tried to change. Closed my mouth more. Tried to be softer, prettier, less awake. Plugged my menses with pages from the Holy Book but still coiled inside me was the need to know: Are you cheating on me?”- Beyoncé

Music extraordinaire, Beyoncé, dropped her sixth studio album titled Lemonade. The album addressed sexism, independence, and what it really means to be a real woman. Her note-worthy performance at the 2016 super-bowl addressed the racial injustices that African-American’s have been facing since the murder of Trayvon Martin.

May 19. 

“Elaine, Marie, and Phil are fearlessly at the forefront, inspiring young trendsetters with their sophisticated take on emerging fashion, beauty and pop culture, and they will lead Teen Vogue to the next phase of its success,”- A quote on Elaine Welteroth

Elaine Welteroth made history after she became Teen Vogue’s first African-American Editor-In-Chief, as well as the company’s first African-American beauty director at Teen Vogue. At 29, Welteroth is the youngest ever in the company’s 107 years of business to become editor.

Jul 11. 

“I’ve always considered myself the best and the top. I never considered that I was out of it,”- Serena Williams

Serena Williams made history again! The 34-year-old won the Wimbledon medal for historic 22nd grand slam title. It was her seventh time competing. 

Aug. 16

“I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps, I’m the first Simone Biles,” - Simone Biles

First-time Olympian Simone Biles won her fourth gold medal in Rio. The superstar went home with a total of five medals, carrying on the legacy of her precede Gabby Douglas.

Sept. 30

“When a black woman stands up for herself, suddenly she has an attitude problem.”

Solange broke her silence after a tumultuous racial confrontation at a summer concert. Her highly-anticipated third studio album A Seat at the Table could not have come at a better time. She reminded us why we should be proud to be black, and mostly importantly our right to be angry. The song-bird showed just unapologetic she is.

Oct 7.

“If your dream only includes you, it’s too small,”- Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay debut her new documentary 13th, about how the Thirteenth Amendment led to mass incarceration in the United States. The documentary was also a call to action for blacks to understand the systematic measurements that has been made to take away their unalienable rights. 

Oct 9.

“I hate to say it but I hate black humor. I feel like a Klan member saying it, but it’s just not funny,” -Issa Rae

Issa Rae delivered a brilliant comedy series about the awkward experiences of a contemporary African-American woman. The HBO debut came after Rae’s YouTube series ‘Awkward Black Girl’. The series conveys the real life of the modern African-American and not the hip-hop rendition that is often conveyed in mainstream media.

Nov. 3

“I support our student-athletes’ First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression,”- Jeff Long, University of Arkansas’ Director of Athletics

On October 16th, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick broke the internet when he knelt for the national anthem protesting against racial oppression and police brutality. His single act of bravery has been proceeded by individuals all over the world. Six members of the Arkansas Razorback Women’s Basketball team took the same stance during the National Anthem at the team’s game against Oklahoma Baptist. 


With one day away from the New Year, there is still much more #BlackGirlMagic to come. We can’t wait to see what you Queens have in store for 2017.


Article by Unique Ratcliff


1. http://www.amandlastenberg.com/

2. http://www.today.com/money/shark-tank-lemonade-entrepreneur-11-year-old-mikaila-ulmer-lands-t83466

3. http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/10/ava-duvernay-13th-netflix/503075/

4. http://www.essence.com/2016/05/19/elaine-welteroth-teen-vogue-editor-in-chief

5. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/09/tennis/wimbledon-serena-williams-angelique-kerber-tennis/

6. https://www.rio2016.com/en/news/simone-biles-usa-best-olympic-gymnast-fourth-gold-medal-rio-2016-olympic-games

7. http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-everyones-saying-black-girls-are-magic-20150909-htmlstory.html

8. http://5newsonline.com/2016/11/04/members-of-razorback-womens-basketball-team-kneel-during-national-anthem/


  1. Amandla Stenberg: http://saintheron.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Amandla-Stenberg-Vogue-640x480.jpg
  2. Elaine Welteroth: https://flavorwire.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/screen-shot-2016-05-25-at-3-56-09-pm.png?w=1202
  3. Razorback Women's Basketball team: http://amppob.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Fun-Team-Photo-1-810x540.jpg
  4. Issa Rae: http://soultrain.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Issa-Rae_Book-Cover.jpg
  5. Simone Bile: http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.2747774.1470952760!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/gallery_1200/simone-biles-2016.jpg
  6. Solange: http://cdn.skim.gs/images/pirmo2q6eswwc0guehsq/solange-new-album-a-seat-at-the-table-review
  7. Beyonce: https://images.rapgenius.com/e6449d5502179104a51b9d104db91609.1000x752x1.jpg
  8. Mikaila Ulmer: http://charityworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/29906170001_4236414340001_video-still-for-video-4236293456001.jpg
  9. Serena Williams: http://hbz.h-cdn.co/assets/16/02/980x490/landscape-1452539085-hbz-serena-williams-index.jpg
  10. Ava DuVernay: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/51f1c5e3e4b0cbe6a9cc0dca/t/55c3abdce4b0f9abcdc2f5ab/1438886884785/AvaDuVernay_GlamourUK.jpg?format=original
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