Carefree Black Girls

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Carefree Black Girls is a cultural concept and movement that aims to increase the breadth of “alternative” representations of black women.[1][2] The origins of this expression can be traced to both Twitter and Tumblr.[3] Zeba Blay was reportedly 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. In her article for The Root, Diamond Sharp describes "carefree black girls" as an idea that, “[black women] have used to anchor expressions of individuality and whimsy in the face of the heavy stereotypes and painful realities that too often color discussions of their demographic."[4] 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."[5] Hillary Crosley Coker, a reporter for Jezebel provides specific examples of notable black women embodying the concept. She claims that, "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".[6]

Reception[edit]

The "carefree black girl" movement has prompted the development of related concepts and efforts such as "carefree black boys,” a term also dubbed by Blay.[7][8] Another concept that emerged was "carefree black kids" via the hashtag from Another Round host and Late Night with Stephen Colbert writer Heben Nigatu (#carefreeblackkids2k16).[9] In July 2016, Blavity called the photos and videos posted with Nigatu's hashtag "the bright light we needed after this troubling week,” which was marked by the state-sponsored killings of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile.[10]

Criticism[edit]

As the "carefree black girl" concept gained favorable recognition, it has also faced criticism.[11] Shamira Ibrahim, reporter for The Root compares the emergence of the "carefree black girl" concept to "black girl magic," critiquing the term's usage as "a catch-all term that seems to run counter to the reality of being a black woman not just in America but in much of the world."[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jones, Deja (2 April 2015). "The Struggle To Be A Carefree Black Girl". Madame Noire. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  2. ^ Mooney, Heather. "Sad Girls and Carefree Black Girls: Affect, Race,(Dis) Possession, and Protest." WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly 46.3 (2018): 175-194.
  3. ^ Bustos, Kristina (10 March 2015). "Beyond the Black Girl Nerds Hashtag". Riveter. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  4. ^ Sharp, Diamond (August 9, 2014). "Why Carefree Black Girls Are Here to Stay". The Root. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  5. ^ Johns, Jamala (January 30, 2014). "Carefree Black Girls - Solange, Janelle Monae". Refinery29. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  6. ^ Coker, Hillary Crosley (January 31, 2014). "So, What's This 'Carefree Black Girl' Thing All About?". Jezebel. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  7. ^ St. Félix, Doreen (September 27, 2016). "On Carefree Black Boys". MTV News. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
  8. ^ Blay, Zeba (5 June 2015). "How Boys Like Jaden Smith Are Redefining Black Masculinity". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  9. ^ "#CarefreeBlackKids2k16 offers comfort in wake of U.S. shootings". CBC News. July 9, 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  10. ^ Mangum, Trey (8 July 2016). "#CarefreeBlackKids2k16 is the bright light we needed after this troubling week -". Blavity. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ Shamira, Ibrahim (March 11, 2016). "Why I'm Over the 'Carefree Black Girl' Label". The Root. Retrieved September 3, 2016.

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