Power and Vulnerability: Black Girl's Magic in Black Women's Science Fiction

  • Jalondra A Davis University of California, Riverside


#Blackgirlmagic has become a mode of digital resistance against the devaluing of black women and girls. But it has also raised criticism by black feminists who question the political potential of its focused on glamorized, and often commercialized black femininity, its ableism and centering of beauty and, most of all its reinscription of a strong black woman narrative that trivializes black women's pain and demands their labor rather than addressing the conditions that necessitate their allegedly superhuman strength (Hobson, 2016). This analysis of Black women's science fiction proposes a different consideration of magic and Black girls, and identifies an archive of BlackGirlMagic that locates power within vulnerability and otherhuman possibility.

Author Biography

Jalondra A Davis, University of California, Riverside
Jalondra A. Davis is a fifth-year PhD Candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Riverside. She also holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. Her research interests include black feminism, black cultural studies, and popular literature and culture. Jalondra's current work looks at how black female writers use the tropes of science fiction to revise disciplinary narratives of black womanhood that circulate in black political discourse. She is also the author of a 2012 coming-of-age novel Butterfly Jar.