You no doubt are familiar with the oft-repeated phrase “black girl magic.” It’s almost become a cliché.
Well, two Florida A&M University students decided to take that mantra to the next level, hosting a forum Tuesday night called “For the Love of Black Girls.”
Senior English major Megan Potts teamed up with Jasmyn Ruja, a senior Psychology student, to host the event in the lecture hall of the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication. It focused on women empowerment, self-love and the uplifting of collegiate African-American females.
“’For the Love of Black Girls serves as a healing space that focuses on the concept of self-love and what that looks like in everyday life,” Potts said. “Social media has fantasized and limited self-love to bubble baths, face masks and wine with a good book.
“However, it’s much deeper than that. This event teaches attendees how to know their triggers, how to properly deal with stress and the importance of maintaining healthy boundaries with their life in various aspects,” Potts said.
The occasion began with an icebreaker called “speed-friending” that split the attendees in four different groups in which each student was responsible for telling as much as they could about themselves in three minutes. At the end of the exercise, a few students volunteered to share something they learned about a prospective counterpart.
Next on the agenda was an activity where the women shared sentiments on why their neighbor was beautiful. “You are beautiful because…” caused the attendees to engage in heartfelt conversation about their cohorts, producing a sense of encouragement all around the room.
Jasmyn Ruja shared her thoughts on the forum’s activities. “We all go through things. Most people when they look at growth or self-love, they don’t see the side where you have to bring yourself to that. We’re just trying to show women that it’s OK to be in that stage and how to get out of that stage.”
After the women returned to their original seats, they were given the task of writing down three things they felt insecure about. After jotting down their three insecurities, on the opposite side of their paper they wrote a letter of encouragement to themselves in an effort to diminish any self-doubt.
“I think the best part of this is teaching the girls to acknowledge their insecurities. A lot of times girls act as if we’re all perfect — we have it together — but we all have insecurities. We all have things we struggle with,” said Potts.
After the last activity, Potts read the women an excerpt from her journal. She talked about the importance of writing down your thoughts and keeping a journal. She also gave insight on how only seven percent of women of color seek any type of help or therapeutic efforts to self-improve.
Ceri Goff, a second-year computer science major, said the forum’s was empowering. “I loved the event. I ultimately think we need to have more events like this that challenge the women to go ahead and get to know themselves.
“I feel like tonight, women got closer to their self and to others. It was unity,” Goff said.