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More than just a hashtag: #BlackGirlMagic is a movement that originated in DC

Murugi Thande

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Published: 2/7/2018 11:45:51 PM
Updated: 11:51 PM EST February 7, 2018

A lot of people have heard of the popular hashtag, #BlackGirlMagic. But not many people know its backstory.

D.C. native CaShawan Thompson created the hashtag. She coined the phrase in 2013, in response to hateful articles published online about black women.

“Psychology Today did an article saying that black women were the most unattractive of all people on earth, and that really bothered me,” Thompson said.

Frustrated with the ways black women were being portrayed online, Thompson took to Twitter, proclaiming "black girls are magic."

That phrase became the hashtag #BlackGirlsAreMagic, later shortened to #BlackGirlMagic. And that hashtag became a movement with millions of people using it to uplift black women.

"Before I knew it, I started hearing it on tv shows, on the radio, and different celebrities saying it. It just turned into this big thing." Thompson said.

To this day, the hashtag has been used over 7 million times Instagram and millions of more times on Facebook and Twitter.

The hashtag may only be five years old, but the ideas behind it date back to Thompson's childhood. As a child, she thought the women in her life were magical:

“Black girls are magic came about when I was a child. I was all about fairy’s and magic, and witches and all those kinds of things. And when I started to see all the things that women in my family and the other girls in my family could do, all I could come up with ‘Oh, black girls are magic.’”

WATCH: CaShawn Thompson discusses her roots and the origin of #BlackGirlMagic

Today the hashtag is about more than just Thompson's family; it celebrates all black women: celebrities and changemakers along with regular everyday women.

"It can't be all about Tracee Ellis Ross winning her Golden Globe or her Emmy. It’s got to be about Tracy Jenkins winning employee of the month at CVS." Thompson said.

Inclusively is an integral part of the movement. Thompson said she does not want anybody to feel left out:

"When I say black girls are magic, I am talking about the black girl with disabilities, I am talking about the lesbian black woman, I am talking the trans black woman, I am definitely talking the poor black women and girls. Nobody gets left behind. Because who are we without all of us?"

For Thompson, #BlackGirlMagic is more than just a hashtag. "It's not just a slogan; it's not just a catchphrase. It is what you see experience in your interactions with black women," she said.

It's about lifting up yourself and lifting up your sisters, she explained.

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