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About: Year of The Black Girl

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CHARLIE, is a bi-annual, digital experience that explores the controversial sides of trending topics and cultural discussions.

In celebration of Black History Month, we take a “behind the scenes” look at the inspiration and motivation behind our Junior Creative, Sianna Stewart’s article, “Year of The Black Girl.”  Celebrating the black female mind and efforts behind today’s massive social media movements and digital campaign pushes, Sianna shares the motivation behind the article that highlights modern-day black women.

What compelled you to write “Year of The Black Girl”?

As a young black woman invested in social media, I am deeply connected to the online black community. Whether that’s through viral memes, trending tags, or posts, I feel like 2016 was the year where blackness (especially what concerned black women) were pushed to the forefront. If it wasn’t a musician (SolangeRihannaBeyoncé), an actress (Viola DavisYara Shahidi), or a female-led organization (The Colored Girl Inc., or Black Lives Matter) raising awareness about a social, political, or cultural issue affecting us, it was a unified community on social that amplified our thoughts/concerns.

Last year I felt like we (black women) were at our peak, when it came to publicizing how overcame issues in social, political, and cultural areas of society in a digital space. That’s why I felt compelled to write this article, to assert, how strong we’ve become in honing social media by gaining massive amounts of attracted towards issues initially used to silence us.

Why do you think this is what the black community needs right now?

I think the article serves as a reminder to the black community that there is a strength and value that came from unifying voices. I think it also celebrates the amazing women that have done so.The article openly supports and bring awareness to the organizations, figures, products, and sub-communities involved in supporting black women, and by extension: black culture, and blackness. It’s important for up to us to never lose sight of modern-day women willing to push the envelope in innovative ways.

What is the cultural impact beyond black girls that this could have?

Though this article shouts #FUBU vibes, by highlighting black women and the massive digital presence behind their movements, I hope the article also reflects the need for, and benefits of, community and empowerment. That’s what I feel is an important takeaway from this article: coming together to raise awareness, promote unity, and overcome any obstacle with a community you’re dedicated to.

Read “Year of The Black Girl” in full at