Black Girl Magik is a collective of artists, community organizers, and makers conjuring a transnational platform for women across the African diaspora. Referring to the social and political formation of black women who gather in a physical space to engage in a practice of love, self-care, recognition, healing, and professional exchange, BGM seeks to unite and empower women of color. Our work begins with a reflection into varying themes that we believe to be cornerstones of our diasporic experience.
Founded by Shydeia Caldwell in May 2015, we began as a meetup for women of color residing in New York City. Since then, the BGM community has expanded into a contemporary black sisterhood across the globe. We aim to conjure space for women from various backgrounds across the diaspora to share collective experiences. Consequently, we exist an arts space, a hub for dialogue and critical consciousness, a multimedia realm, and a center for solidarity and self care.
"Black Girl Magik names the process through which the magic is made. It speaks to the spaces where black women have and continue to congregate." — Naomi Extra
Our visual identity pays homage to our ancestors and draws upon the traditional beliefs of orishas (spirits) of Yoruba-based religions that are said to govern the various forces of nature, as well as various body organs and functions. The orishas are said to administer the energy centers of the body, also known as chakras. Each chakra has its own vibrational frequency that is depicted through a specific color. We attribute these frequencies and meanings to the content focuses of BGM and utilize them to guide our visual system and its interdependencies.
Our visual language is informed by sacred geometry, which contends that the essential building blocks of our universe depend on arithmetic and form. Sacred geometry can be found in all of nature in golden mean proportions, Fibonacci spirals, and so forth. These sacred forms have been utilized for facilitating healing and enhancing meditation. Different geometric structures have been equated to the each of the seven chakras, which guide not only the color choices, but the shapes used as well, and how they are associated with our content focuses.
Shydeia is a visual and performance artist inspired by transnational and cultural experiences. Through her work, the artist and thought leader explores color theory, identity-its impact, and relationship to thought, expression, and behavior. The themes of space, ownership, social dislocation and identity run concurrent in her personal and professional life.
Sierra is a southern Black Woman in love with language, memories and building communities with storytelling. By continuing the conversations between the past, present, and future, she believes that we, collectively as Black Women, can begin to hone and find solace in what womanhood means to each of individually.
Zai is a Nigerian-American designer and artist who sees every human interaction as an experience that merits attention and thoughtfully intentional design. Her multidisciplinary practice leverages critical pedagogy, contextual inquiry, and the human side of technology to interrogate societal, archived and institutional forces against individual and collective identity.
Isabelle is a Nigerian creative who has spent a majority of their life on the internet - creating and mobilizing. Starting at the age of 13, she has worked as a writer and digital marketer in both the music and creative industry helping to build, shape, and mold ideas. Currently residing in Toronto, her passion and interests remain grounded in reconciling Africa & the diaspora, digital connectedness, experiences in physical spaces, and youth education in marginalized neighborhoods.
Amina is a content creator, critical thinker, doer, dreamer and boundary pusher, she is a native of Queens, NY and proud descendant of the ancient Kushite Kingdom of Nubia. Her passion for connecting creators and entrepreneurs of color with resources and insight to monetize their businesses led her to found The Melanin Mixer, a content platform and series of events that utilizes tech and digital strategies to scale businesses. Realizing and harnessing our power as black women will be our greatest revolution.
Maureen is an educator, budding storyteller and PhD student who proudly identifies as a first generation, Sierra Leoneon-American. In her research, work and everyday life she is motivated to know more about every person she meets because she believes the connections between people and the new understandings that develop through these curiosities is what builds compassion and love for others. Her research and work center on Black girls and Black women and the urgency for the world to take them seriously.
Amora is a daydreamer and lover currently living in Brooklyn. Her writing serves to highlight the beauty and resilience of Black women throughout the diaspora, and to remind the world of our strength and vulnerability. Believing in self-care as resistance, she also assists in managing Spoken Black Girl Magazine, a publication focused on mental health for women of color.