It begins on an early Sunday afternoon when my flight lands in Phoenix, Arizona. I am waiting for my luggage when I hear it—the unmistakable voices of Black women followed by laughter--not loud and obnoxious, but the rich laughter of women on the verge of an adventure. Without really knowing, I know we are probably headed to the same destination—the Sedona Resort and Spa.
I am right. The women on the Shuttle (except for one) are all headed to the same place. We are on a Southwest Journey going to Sedona to spend a few days then traveling by train to Santa Fe, New Mexico for the second leg of our trip. We are part of the Literary Sisters, a group founded by Ruth Bridges, which brings women together from all over the United States who share a love a of reading and traveling. Two authors, Phyllis Dixon, Down Home Blues, and Raynetta Manees, All For Love—The Superstar’s Lady join us to discuss their books.
The women in this group come from all walks of life. And there is something special about traveling with them. We share cultural experiences which bond us. We make jokes or just talk about a multitude of issues and there is a nod of understanding without having to explain ourselves. There is a Sunday dinner kind of comfort. What I especially like is that we are who we are—unashamedly and unapologetically Black women. This is not an easy feat in a world that does not always respect women and girls, and people of color—and we are both.
And while we may share the same race and gender, our lived experiences differ which make for lively conversation. We are thought provoking; we are naughty; we are funny. We are educated. We are talented. We are gorgeous. We are wise . . . and the list goes on. It is a trip filled with fun and laughter from beginning to end!
When 30+ African-American women converge on one place, that place is never the same! After the initial shock of seeing so many of us together, the cats give the people back their tongues and a thousand and one questions come tumbling out, Where are you from? What’s the occasion? What’s the last good book you read? What are you reading now? And no matter where we go, we have questions of our own for the tour guides. They need to know their stuff. Many of us have done our homework before we’ve come. We are a force to be reckoned with no doubt.
There is a hash tag, #blackgirlmagic# which celebrates all of the ways Black women and girls continue to thrive in a world set against us. I read many of the stories associated with the blackgirlmagic hash tag, and it’s wonderful to read these stories. But what’s even better, is to be in the room and watch blackgirlmagic unfold. That is what happened in Sedona and Santa Fe. We brought the magic to every place we showed up, and we also shared that magic with each other.
Over dinner, or during plane rides and train rides, we gather and talk about everything under the sun. We share stories; we laugh. And we learn. We leave richer than we came, and many of us will come back again. We create blackgirlmagic in real time.
What about you? Do you believe in magic? Tell us about your magical experience in the comment section.