Last weekend, we spent the day with Lovie Simone. She's definitely the most refreshing person we've had the pleasure to hang out with in quite a while. Completely full of life and very positive. Lovie is cast as Renee Pickford in the movie Monster and she's also Zora Greenleaf in Oprah's drama series Greenleaf. She brought us to a place where we couldn't help but draw our own parallels to some of our favorite actors from in their early years.
More importantly she reminded me what magic is.
I recently read an article that referred to "who could be thanked for Black Girl Magic".
It was mainly a list of photographers... and while I am quite supportive of people taking up the art, I am also very aware of the loose and liberal interpretation of the word "art" when it comes to our great medium.
I was a bit moved by the article. A lot of the imagery I saw, was not magical. It was exploitation. While a good portion of the photographers on the list were amazing, a few were questionable. There is a fine line between what we consider "beauty" and what is clear abuse of one's desire for fame. Anyway, I am not here to bash anyone, I'm looking to make sure my opinion is made clear. We need to claim our stake in the narrative of what magic is. The fact that Lovie is 17 and she acts like a 17 year old is refreshing. She represents magic. The Black Girl Magic that people are talking about.
What Lovie is doing, is nothing short of phenomenal. A successful series and feature movie. Let's celebrate that. Let's capture that for immortality. It is art in itself. The moment we start to allow some foreign entity to dictate what is "magic" you run the risk of sabotage. You run the risk of someone deciding that the magic can exist solely within the confines of exploitation. That in itself invalidates the magic.
Resilience. Determination. Excellence. Grace. This is magic. In the face of adversity, this is magic.
As a curator of that, just know that the minute you degrade that, to be rated by "likes" or whatever, you kill the magic.
Peace and Love.