When your Black doesn't feel so magical.
In the midst of such a huge social media era, it's really hard to find people who don't share at least small pieces of their lives on the Internet. Especially the important stuff. With the help of Facebook and Instagram, we are always up-to-date when someone buys a house, gets engaged, gets married, moves across the world, travels, graduates, or has a baby. I'm Black and I've pretty much only ever lived in all Black communities so the majority of the folks on my timeline are Black. So with every accomplishment comes the "Black Magic" tag.
Don't get me wrong, I am the first to admit that Black people are absolutely magical. From the melanin in our skin that makes us all shades of brown and the kink in our hair that gives us versatility in style to the way we travail in work environments filled with microaggression and start successful businesses. We are absolutely magical. From the rooter to the tooter.
But what happens when your Black doesn't feel so magical? How do you cope with that? How do you fight through that? In a moment of sheer transparency, I often struggle with not feeling like I'm good enough. Or even good at all. And so, in those moments when you want to stand in your magical Blackness, you feel like your light is a bit dimmed and no one can see it. Not even you.
I want to blame the "Black Elites." Y'all know, the ones that ask you "so what do you do?" in the first five minutes of meeting you and if you don't have a legitimate answer, judgment washes over their faces. Those. I want to blame them. I want to say they created this idea that we all need to be magical the same way. All of our lights need to shine a sillhoutte of a Howard U logo. And we all should be featured in Forbes 30 under 30.
But, the bottom line is, only we are responsible for our definition of success. Nobody creates that for us. Because your success is what makes you happy and no one can tell you what makes you happy. Period. The beautiful thing about Blackness is that it comes packaged in so many different ways. We'd be doing each other a disservice if we all defined success the same way. We come equipped with so much creativity and talent that we'd not get the truth of "black magic" without us all having our own definition of what it means to be successful.
So, shout out to the Howard U grad who just made Forbes 30 under 30. Shout out to the community college grad who just landed his first job without a hair net. Shout out to the waitress who volunteers at the Y on the weekends. Shout out to the grandfather who will probably never have enough money to retire but goes to work with a smile on his face everyday. Shout out to the college students, the folks who decided not to go to college, the doctors, the lawyers, the janitors, ball players, singers, poets and the unemployed.
Even if your magic doesn't look like what you've been told it should - please know that you still have magic in you. It's still there. The fact that yours doesn't emulate anyone else's is the truth of Black Magic.