Award Date

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Briana Whiteside

Second Committee Member

Katherine Walker

Third Committee Member

Vincent Pérez

Fourth Committee Member

Valerie Taylor

Fifth Committee Member

Javon Johnson

Number of Pages



In 2013, activist and social media influencer CaShawn Thompson composed a Tweet claiming, “Black Girls Are Magic,” which shortened to the hashtag “#BlackGirlMagic.” As the hashtag began to circulate social media, the phrase birthed a digital movement that celebrated the beauty, accomplishments, and mere presence of Black women and girls. This project argues that Black Girl Magic, operating as a social and literary framework, combats the injustice, inequality, and lack of respect and representation that Black women and girls faced in the past and continue to face today. In Black Girl Magic literature, Black women characters perform literal and figurative forms of magic, which they use to reclaim their own power and resist oppression. The origins of this contemporary literature can be traced to the Black Women Renaissance of the 1980s, which is arguably the most productive era for Black women’s writing. Black Women Renaissance literature employs elements of folk culture—such as conjure magic and oral storytelling—that offers a unique spiritual knowledge unique to Black women. By invoking these elements of spirituality, contemporary Black Girl Magic texts demonstrate the endurance and persistence of Black womanhood in the face of oppression.


African American Studies | American Literature | American Studies | Race and Ethnicity

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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