6 TED Talks to Unlock Your Black Girl Magic This Morning

It’s Monday, which means the weekend is over and another workweek has descended upon us. It’s Monday, which means you’re likely tired, in need of a few more hours of sleep, cursing the hair Gods that your twist-out is still not dry after a 10-hour roller set and potentially over the day before it even started.

It’s also Monday, which means you have another day, week and hour to get it right. Another chance to start fresh, pursue a dream, accomplish a goal make this week the best week of your life.

The week is young, you’re awesome, and we’ve gathered some of our favorite TED Talks for black women and by black women to remind you of that. Yes, we love our ratchet news and aimless IG trolling, but let’s insert a little #BlackGirlMagic into your morning routine and start your day on the most confident, fabulous foot ever.

If nothing else, let these videos be a reminder that you are indeed the ish, capable of accomplishing absolutely anything you set out to do. So speakers up, earphones on (or off if you’re in close proximity to other black girls who need to hear these messages), and be prepared to get inspired on your morning commute with these TED Talks guaranteed to have your #BlackGirlMagic on fleek today and beyond.

Black Girl Magic in the Fashion Industry, Ebonee Davis

“Inclusion doesn’t just mean one token black model,” said fashion model Ebonee Davis. In her TED Talk released earlier this year, the Calvin Klein and Sports Illustrated model, spoke candidly about her experiences as a black woman in the fashion industry, offering suggestions on how to make the industry more inclusive

“I don’t want to be hired so I can fill an HR box. I want to be hired for my unique contribution to the industry,” she said. “Instead of forcing my beauty into your pre-existing box and asking me to change, expand your definition of beauty to be inclusive.”


How Black Girl Magic Can Change the World, Yelitsa Jean-Charles

At age seven, When Yelitsa Jean-Charles, founder of Healthy Roots, the first line of natural hair dolls, received her first Barbie, little did she know the gift would forever change her life as a black girl and woman.

In her TED Talk, Jean-Charles discusses her grief-stricken reaction to receiving the gift because the black Barbie was a stark contrast to the white dolls she’d grown accustomed to, and associated with beauty as a child.

“I started crying because to me, it wasn’t the real Barbie because it wasn’t the pretty Barbie. And, how was I to know any better when the only images that I saw as beautiful were the blue-eyed, blonde, white Barbie dolls.”



When Black Women Walk, Things Change, T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison

Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, founders of the health nonprofit GirlTrek, are on a mission to reduce the leading causes of preventable death among Black women — and build communities in the process. How? By getting one million women and girls to prioritize their self-care, lacing up their shoes and walking in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives.



Color Blind or Color Brave, Mellody Hobson

Two black people, a high-ranking executive at a Fortune 500 corporation and a U.S. Congressman, walk into a building dressed sharper than a needle and are mistaken for the help. No it’s not the start of a bad joke, it’s a reality known all too well to Princeton-educated, business executive Mellody Hobson. Her now famous 2014 TED Talks explores race and the importance of cultural inclusion.

“We cannot afford to be color blind,” she says, “we have to be color brave… Not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s the smart thing to do.” 



We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi

It doesn’t get more epic than the words of Chimamanda Ngozi set against a Beyonce track. But before Bey got ahold of the Nigerian author’s now-famous words for the track “Flawless,” Ngozi’s TED Talk was inspiring countless women as she discussed feminism, inclusion and the overall badassness of being a woman.



Shit happens. Clean it Up and Move On!, Beatrice Achaleke

Shit happens. And it happens to every one of us. But more importantly, how do we deal with life’s unexpected setbacks? In her TED Talks, Beatrice Achaleke discussed her own “shitty“ situations and explains a her valuable system called “Globuntu,” that encourages people to go through hard times with dignity and even thankfulness.


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