Justice Grisby, P.E.A.R.L.S. Member, wins Black Girl Magic Essay Contest at P.E.A.R.L.S. Summer Conference
Black Girl Magic is a movement that has grown across our culture today. It is a concept and movement that was popularized by CaShawn Thompson in 2013. The concept was born as a way to "celebrate the beauty, power and resilience of black women," as described by Julee Wilson from The Huffington Post, and to congratulate black women on their accomplishments.
P.E.A.R.L.S. were asked to write an essay about what does “Black Girl Magic” means to you, who inspires you the most, and how does being a part of P.E.A.R.L.S. Mentoring for Girls, Inc. exemplifies or sends positive messages and images to black women like yourself (how does it bring about your #blackgirlmagic).
The winner of this contest was Justice Grisby of the Holmes County Chapter of P.E.A.R.L.S. Mentoring for Girls, Inc. where she serves as President of the P.E.A.R.L.S. Ambassador Council. She is the daughter of Ms. Heather Grisby and the Mentee of Ms. Marissa Butler. Below is her inspiring essay that wowed the judges.
BLACK GIRL MAGIC
“Don’t let life’s tough times harden you like a rock. Let them polish you like a diamond!” What is black girl magic? Black girl magic is beauty, intelligence, and power. Illustrated by the awesomeness that is a black woman or girl, seen in many different ways. Our style, spirit and feelings are so hard to define that it becomes this being or entity of its own. It’s our personal way of being pretty, no matter the skin tone, we are still beautiful. Black girl magic is the art of purity, knowing that God made me this way. My hair, my skin, my voice, and my soul is all a part of black girl magic. It helps me to embrace that I am different and its ok to be my own kind of different.
Black girl magic is an expression of positivity, that helps other women learn to congratulate and appreciate the great thing women just like me, accomplish. While there are many black girls who influence the black girl magic in me, Michelle Obama is probably the one who inspires me the most. Her style, strength and grace as a lady is amazing. She has opened so many doors for girls just like me that many could only ever imagine and dream about. Her ability to be herself despite the stigmas that black women face is inspiring. My aspiration in life is to become a judge and I will be just that! Michelle once said that “women should grow up believing that they can do anything.” That statement alone lets me know that no matter how big or small my dream may seem; it can be accomplished. She is not only a great role model but she exemplifies black girl magic.
When I was younger I felt like I was this worm, insecure in myself, lacking confidence. I was always told that I was this beautiful girl but would often cry when I was alone because I wanted so badly to see that person that others would see. Then in 2015 I joined P.E.A.R.L.S. and this organization has instilled in me this confidence and love for myself that has allowed me to become this beautiful butterfly I am today. P.E.A.R.L.S has help mold me in so many ways. I recall the “mirror, mirror” activity we did in one meeting, where we had to look at ourselves and tell what we loved about ourselves. When I looked in that mirror I wanted to cry, not because I felt ugly but because I didn’t see Justice. That day I was told, “It’s not about what they call me, it’s about what I answer to.” Now while it may have taken me a while to truly believe and understand those words, today I have been answering to Justice. A P.E.A.R.L who fights every day to never let person see me frown or down because I know there are people who love to see the hurt of others but also because there may be a young girl out there looking up to me. I feel pretty, I know I am pretty and I will forever walk in that confidence. Yes, there will be days where I will let the world get to me but it won’t last for long. I want to be an example to all the young ladies out there that may feel how I once felt. I want to show young ladies like myself that they can ignore people who hurt them and doubt their greatness while still loving passionately. I’m forever walking in confidence. I am Justice, I am beautiful and I am black girl magic.