Black Girl Magic: A Poem
- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press; Illustrated edition (January 2, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1250173728
- ISBN-13: 978-1250173720
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.4 x 7.4 inches
Much of what twenty-first century culture tells black girls is not pretty: Don't wear this; don't smile at that. Don't have an opinion; don't dream big. And most of all, don't love yourself. In response to such destructive ideas, internationally recognized poet Mahogany Browne challenges the conditioning of society by crafting an anthem of strength and magic undeniable in its bloom for all beautiful Black girls. She has travelled the world sharing her vision of Black Girl Magic, and now in collaboration with artist Jess X. Snow, presents her acclaimed tribute in a visual form.
Black Girl Magic is a journey from girlhood to womanhood and an invitation to readers to find magic in themselves.
Review from School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—In this book-length poem, Browne, the cofounder of Brooklyn Slam, chronicles the many injustices, limitations, and stereotypes that Black girls face, leading up to a resounding celebration of Black girlhood and a rejection of all that is harmful. Browne's verse radiates energy and urgency, achieved through patiently building up momentum and then cutting it with voltalike segments: "You ain't 'posed to dream at all/You ain't 'posed to do/Nothing but carry babies/And carry/Weaves/Felons/Families/Confusion/Silence./And carry a nation—/But never an opinion." The rhythm and use of enjambment lends the work a spoken word—like cadence, making this an imminently readable poem. The ending chorus of "You Black girl shine!/You Black girl bloom!…" will stick with readers long after they have closed the book. Snow and Key's striking illustrations keep to a limited color palette of white, black, red, and gold, a choice that is elegant and effective, conveying a raw honesty. Nearly every spread could be framed. While the picture book format may signal younger readers, its often intimate content is more appropriate for tweens and teens. VERDICT Browne celebrates a Black girlhood that is free, unforgettable, and luminous. Middle and high school poetry collections will want to consider.—Melissa Williams, Berwick Academy, ME
Mahogany L. Browne is a California-born, Brooklyn based writer, educator, activist, mentor, and curator. She has published several books of poetry, and she is an Urban Word NYC Artistic Director (as seen on HBO's Brave New Voices), founder of Women Writers of Color Reading Room, Director of BLM@Pratt Programming, and facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country.
Jess X. Snow is an artist, filmmaker, and poet. She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and her artwork has appeared in the LA Times, the Huffington Post, the UN Human Rights Council, and on indoor and outdoor walls throughout the U.S.