Carefree Black Girls

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Carefree Black Girls is a concept and movement[1] that reportedly first emerged on the Tumblr platform;[2] writer Zeba Blay was the first person to use the expression as a hashtag on Twitter in May 2013. Danielle Hawkins soon launched a blog on Tumblr by the same name. Writing at The Root, Diamond Sharp describes "carefree black girls" as an idea black women "have anchor expressions of individuality and whimsy in the face of the heavy stereotypes and painful realities that too often color discussions of their demographic".[3] At Refinery29, Jamala Johns said it was "a way to celebrate all things joyous and eclectic among brown ladies. Cultivated online and driven by social media, it's one telling piece of a much wider development of inspiration assembled by and for black women."[4] At Jezebel, Hillary Crosley Coker says "ladies like Chiara de Blasio (with her hippie flower headband), Solange [Knowles] and her eclectic style and Janelle Monae's futurism are their patron saints".[5]

At The Root, Shamira Ibrahim connects the emergence of the "carefree black girl" concept to "black girl magic", another concept first developed and diffused by black women on social media.[6]

As the "carefree black girl" concept gained currency, it has both faced some criticism[7] and also prompted the development of related concepts and efforts, like "carefree black boys",[8] also coined by Blay,[9] and "carefree black kids" via the hashtag from Another Round host and Late Night with Stephen Colbert writer Heben Nigatu "#carefreeblackkids2k16";[10] Blavity called the photos and videos posted with Nigatu's hashtag "the bright light we needed after this troubling week" in July 2016 marked by the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile.[11] In September 2014, after the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Carlton Mackey began the hashtag "Black Men Smile" in order to combat the images of black suffering proliferated online.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jones, Deja (2 April 2015). "The Struggle To Be A Carefree Black Girl". Madame Noire. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  2. ^ Bustos, Kristina (10 March 2015). "Beyond the Black Girl Nerds Hashtag". Riveter. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  3. ^ Sharp, Diamond (August 9, 2014). "Why Carefree Black Girls Are Here to Stay". The Root. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  4. ^ Johns, Jamala (January 30, 2014). "Carefree Black Girls - Solange, Janelle Monae". Refinery29. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  5. ^ Coker, Hillary Crosley (January 31, 2014). "So, What's This 'Carefree Black Girl' Thing All About?". Jezebel. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  6. ^ Shamira, Ibrahim (March 11, 2016). "Why I'm Over the 'Carefree Black Girl' Label". The Root. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  7. ^ BCB Team (14 June 2016). "This Youtuber Says She's Not Here For The 'Carefree Black Girl' Movement". Beyond Classically Beautiful. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  8. ^ St. Félix, Doreen (September 27, 2016). "On Carefree Black Boys". MTV News. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  9. ^ Blay, Zeba (5 June 2015). "How Boys Like Jaden Smith Are Redefining Black Masculinity". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  10. ^ "#CarefreeBlackKids2k16 offers comfort in wake of U.S. shootings". CBC News. July 9, 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  11. ^ Mangum, Trey (8 July 2016). "#CarefreeBlackKids2k16 is the bright light we needed after this troubling week -". Blavity. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  12. ^ "About". Black Men Smile. Retrieved 2018-02-07.

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