“I tried to dance it away...I tried to change it with my hair…” blasted out of my speakers as tears slowly ran down my face. I think at this point, I was completely exhausted and underwhelmed, hopeless I guess. I couldn’t really understand why, after all these years, after all the love and good vibes I thought I was putting into that atmosphere, I was feeling like I was sinking into a deep hole of just, failure. I just got done being told by yet another football player at CU that I was “ugly Black jawn”, like a broken record on major repeat. And it wasn’t like I needed this fool’s approval to feel beautiful, I honestly think him telling me that was his rebuttal during our argument about what constitutes a woman being “bad”. It just became the norm, I was immune to it.

Being at a PWI didn’t make it any better, I felt like a modern-day Sarah Baartman. I was exoticized and hyper-invisible all at the same time: “is that your real hair? Omg your skin is so soft…you’re pretty for a Black girl.” The conflicting messages finally set it off like Jada Pinkett in Vivica in my head! Literally, my mind was on overload. After a while, after listening to the conversations play over and over again, I was starting to believe his words, and their actions.

It was as life itself was oozing out of me, I was drained. Sort of, pretty much over it all. Like, was this the plight of being a Black woman? Constantly being told you are this and that, carrying all of these burdens like a sack of heavy parables that you just can’t seem to drop off? I was starting to become stone cold, more than Foxy…Medusa like. My attitude shifted, I was mean, my resting B*tch face became permanent, no etch and sketch.

But then, like a wave of peace, I heard: “Do you believe in MAGIC?” Solange’s melodies drowned out all the negative things I heard. Cause before then, I didn’t believe in magic, and I forgot that I possessed it. I forgot that my womanhood, my Blackness, was the very essence that gave me immense power. I had forgotten that I exude grace, intelligence, love. That I emanate the vulnerability and sweet innocence of a cocooning butterfly, a blossoming sunflower. My skin, my melanin, my naturalness, my perfection.

I had come to forget that I am virtuous and pure. While the world attempts to hypersexualize me, regulate me, belittle me, exoticize me, or discourage my being…while this world tires to communicate and generate what it means to be perfect, when I felt I would never be good enough, thin enough, attractive enough, it was as If she reminded me that I eloquently walk and bless this earth! I had forgotten I was perfect, that my list of imperfections, everything I felt was wrong is so right, wrapped up in a complex web of beauty that weaves together the core of my being. I forgot that I am royalty, a queen.

I seemingly forgot that I AM MAGIC. I am powerful, persuasive, expressive… that I hold the authority to transform positively, impact-fully, and intentionally. I began to recognize the stake I have in every decision made on my behalf, in my now, and in my future.