So far throughout the Black Girl Magic series we have heard from entrepreneurs and founders of non-profits. This week we will hear from youth activist and filmmaker Natalie. Natalie is an activist and filmmaker who hopes to create a more accurate representation of all marginalized people through her films. She is a freshman at American University in Washington, DC where she is majoring in film/media arts. I had the amazing opportunity to interview Natalie about her dreams, aspirations, recent events, and how she is changing the world one film at a time.Read more
by Adriana C., 15
Here at Day of the Girl-US, we fight for girls’ rights and gender justice. In order to achieve a true change in our society, we must encourage girls to go into leadership positions and challenge systems designed to keep them out. When strong girls are in positions of power, our voices cannot help but be heard. We tear down any and all barriers placed upon us, inspiring other girls to do the same. But without a chance at a good education, it is hard for many girls to get to these positions of power. That’s where Up Next comes in.Read more
As summer slowly dwindles to a close, I’ve been attempting to squeeze in as much time for catching up on my favorite TV shows - and, of course, analyzing them from a feminist perspective.Read more
Two teen girls empowering other girls, one product at a time.
Have you ever wanted to start your business? Have you ever wanted to design your own products? Well, two inspiring teens named Kianna and Brianna did just that! Kianna and Brianna are the CEOs of their business called, “Dream Up Enterprises”. Dream Up is an organization dedicated to educating, encouraging and empowering all women. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview them about how they were able to turn their dream into reality.
Name: Kianna and Brianna “Ceos of Dream Up Enterprises”
State: New Jersey
Social Media: Dreamupent_ (Instagram and Twitter)
Youtube Channel: Dream Up
Question 1: Why did you create Dream Up Enterprises?
Brianna: Growing up, I always wanted to start something. I started other businesses before, but they always failed because I wasn’t with the right people. I came up with the idea of DreamUp the day after my birthday. I wanted my business to actually make a difference. But I needed to find someone who could help me. I thought of Kianna because she was always willing to help me with things in class. She agreed to help me with my idea. At first, Dream Up was supposed to be for kids, but now it became something great for girls.
Kianna : We started Dream Up Enterprises because we saw that girls do not get enough credit. Brianna came to me and said she wanted to start a business. Our school club helped us launched the organization and we went from there. We wanted to help underprivileged youth, and then we started to focus more on girls all around.
Question 2: What advice would you give to teens wanting to start their own business?
Kianna: The advice I would give is to teens wanting to start their own business is to never give up; do not get discouraged. Many people told Brianna and me that we could not do it. Also, make sure to do your research on what kind of business you want to start.
Brianna: Make sure you pick someone who you work well with. Sometimes Kianna and I argue, but something good always comes out of it! Make sure you have an idea and your idea has to be different, original and your idea has to be you.
Question 3: What does your organization stand for?
Kianna and Brianna: Dream Up is an organization dedicated to educating, encouraging and, empowering ALL women. We want women to thrive in anything they do. We believe if you can dream it you can achieve it. Dream Up promotes education and athleticism in our women by providing them unlimited opportunities to accomplish their goals! We provide resources for ALL females disregarding race, background, and their economic status.
Question 4: I saw that you girls create your own products. I think that is pretty awesome. How do you create them? Do you have any new items coming soon?
Kianna: We knew that we needed funding for our organization. So, we decided to create hats, shirts, and hoodies. Our products have inspiring quotes on them such as “Female and Fit” and “Female and Educated”.Our products are about bringing positivity to girls and empowering them to dream big.
Brianna: We do have new merchandise coming out, but it’s comprising with our sister movement called,“ The New Black Power movement”. We both split the profit because we wanted to help them start their organization. We have some new products coming soon! We are excited!
Question 5: I know your organization is new. What do you see in the future for your organization?
Kianna: We hope to have a resource building for girls. We want each floor to have different activities for the girls. For example, a gym, tutoring room, coaching, and training. We also want our organization to have a Junior Olympics in our town.
Brianna: We have to grow first. Our organization in the future will have two departments: Education and Athletics. I have always been an athlete and active, I always hated how women have always been second class in sports. Kianna has always been passionate about education. She believes low-income children should have a better education because they deserve better.
Question 6: I believe you both have black girl magic. What does black girl magic mean to you?
Kianna: Black girl magic means to be empowering and shed light on positivity to black women.
Brianna: I believe black girl magic is the ability to be comfortable with yourself by spreading positivity towards other women. I also think black girl magic is being educated in your race and your background. Also,making sure you educate other people as well. Black girl magic is being successful and proving the outer society wrong like I can do this. How many black 17 or 18 CEOs or bloggers do you see? I believe people who are just doing awesome things and spreading awareness are the people who represent black girl magic.
Stay Tuned for Part 3 of the Black Girl Magic Series!
Black Girl Magic is not just a Hashtag, it’s a MOVEMENT!
“The most disrespected person in America is the Black Woman, the most unprotected person in America is the Black Woman, the most neglected person in America is the Black Woman.” -Malcolm X. This quote represents why the movement Black Girl Magic came alive.
As black girls and teenagers in today’s society, many of us have experienced low self-esteem, bullying , sexism and racism that have forced us to conclude that we need to create cultural awareness for both black girls and also people of other races so that they also can bring awareness about this subject. Black Girl Magic is a term used to illustrate the universal awesomeness of black women. It’s about celebrating anything we deem particularly dope, inspiring, or mind-blowing about ourselves.
“Black Girls have been poorly represented on television and in movies for decades”
One of the causes of the problem of black girls being treated poorly starts with television. While growing up, many kids and teens of color, especially black girls, have to look harder for television shows that represent their skin color. Shows are overshadowed with girls that represent society’s ideals of beauty: white ,skinny, and long blonde hair. The sitcoms Lizzie McGuire, Liz and Maddie, Zoey101 and more only showed us one kind of beauty. The media only portraying one kind of ideal beauty affects black girls in particular. While the media is only focusing on one ideal beauty, people tend to have a negative perspective on the image of black girls.
While growing up, many black girls my age could only name a couple of shows that actually had a black girl as their lead character. The sitcoms That’s So Raven and Proud Family were Disney Channel’s most viewed shows, and both of those shows took a stand on topics such as racism. That’s So Raven and Proud Family gave many black girls the confidence that they could star in their own show.
How Black Girl Magic is changing the game!
The Black Girl Magic movement has spread a light on black girls and women who are doing incredible things. First Lady Michelle Obama, Amandla Stenberg, Zendaya, Beverly Bond, Beyonce, Rihanna, Chloe and Halle, and more represent black girl magic .
Beyonce used her talents to embrace black women and girls. She recently released her music video album Lemonade which uses video and music to show the power of black girls and women. Celebrities such as Chloe , Halle , Zendaya, Amandla Stenberg, Quvenzhané Wallis, Serena Williams , and Winnie Harlow (who all appeared in Beyonce Lemonade documentary) represent black girl magic. Also in the music video appeared The Black Lives Matter mothers, who lost their sons and daughters to police brutality. Beyonce’s music videos show that no matter what a black woman or girl goes through, they still hold up each other and their communities. Just like Beyonce’s song “Lemonade” states, “we transform lemons into lemonade”.
Amandla Stenberg is an activist and actress. She uses her platform for many issues, such as her Cultural Appropriation video. Cultural Appropriation has become a big movement for the Black Community. Cultural Appropriation is the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture. Stenberg made a video called, “ Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows” . Amanda wrote , "While white women are praised for altering their bodies, plumping their lips and tanning their skin, black women are shamed although the same features exist on them naturally," she continued. "This double standard is one string in the netting that surrounds black female sexuality -- a web that entraps black women when they claim sexual agency. Deeply ingrained into the culture is the notion that black female bodies, at the intersection of oppression, are less than human and therefore unattractive." Amandla explains how black women are criticized for features like dark skin and plump lips, yet those with the same attributes are considered beautiful when adopted by white women. Amandla points out that the media degrades black women and does not accord them the value that they deserve when they embrace their features, yet praises white women and non-black women of color who take on black women features. It seems that on a black woman, cornrows are just a “ghetto” hairstyle, but on a white woman, they’re a powerful statement or a trend. Amandla believes if one is going to wear hairstyles typically connoted with black culture, one should embrace their culture as well and bring awareness to the issues they are dealing with.
Ashley Yao is 18 years old and currently lives in Riverside, California. She is going to attend Cal Poly SLO this fall as a civil engineering major.Read more
By Adriana C., 14
I was raised in a household with all women, so I remember knowing what a period was from a pretty young age. It was never, and still is not, a taboo subject in my house. I knew my mom had a period, I knew my older sister had a period. When my time came, I knew exactly where to find the pads and could talk about my period without embarrassment.Read more
Alyssa is a 16 year old in 11th grade. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and is interested in robotics and computer science. She participates in student government and enjoys playing basketball. You can find her on Instagram @alyssafur.Read more
Have you ever pictured yourself on the cover of a nationwide magazine? Have you ever wanted to meet the First Lady? Have you ever wanted to visit the White House? Well, hi, my name is Zaniya Lewis. I am on the Action Team for Day of the Girl, and I recently won a national essay contest called "Better Make Room" .