When I Think About Magic

Amy Smith

I think about the Olivia Newton-John song & also my mother —

how she rocked me in her arms after I fell one night.

I cried & cried & then we watched the movie Grease.

I wanted to be Olivia Newton-John.

I was around six years old. Around six years old was when

a white girl called me nigger in the grocery store. I cried then, too.

It took years to understand the power of it —

to say it: I have magic. But it’s true.

& eventually I sang goodbye to Sandra Dee & everything else

that told me how to be. I harnessed the power of that little girl.

Have you heard about it? A little girl walked around her classroom yelling the words

I have Black girl magic. The kind of stuff that makes white girls cry.


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