There are dozens of digital movements empowering women of color, but few are encompassing as much positivity and progression as Renina Jarmon’s “Black Girls are from the Future.”
The innovative hashtag and brand is an “oppositional standpoint for black girls” according to Jarmon designed to re-examine black women’s sexuality in popular culture.
“Black Girls are from the Future” harvested from a lived experience common to many women of color struggling through loneliness and identity crises.
Jarmon writes on the brand’s website:
“Right before New Years Eve of 2009 I was in the middle of a break up and I had just moved to a new city. I told my dad, who was on the other side of the country, that I was lonely. He said that I should go back to Brooklyn, even if I had just returned from there- if I was lonely. I looked at that phone like he had lost his mind. His rationale was that if my friends and chosen family were in Brooklyn, then I should go to Brooklyn, my lonely room in a new city would be waiting for me when I returned. He was right, so I put on my fancy silver leggings, packed a bag and headed to Brooklyn for a New Years Eve party. When I arrived my home girl took one look at me and my shiny silver leggings and said girl, where did you come from the future? The hashtag, #Blackgirlsarefromthefuture was used first in February 2010.”
The hashtag garnered steam on Twitter and has since connected with black women on Tumblr and Facebook. The rapid growth of #BlackGirlsAreFromTheFuture is not coincidental because it easily connects to women within our community living the realities and complexities of blackness on a daily basis.
“When I think about being a Black girl from the future, my mind goes to the contradiction that many Black girls and women encounter which is that we are often simultaneously hyper visible and invisible at the same time,” Jarmon writes. “This can be a very difficult mode of engagement in the world, because you know that you exist even if people see you and choose not to recognize you.”
This is showcased in our often repressed sexual identities and even in our interactions with each other. Jarmon aims to capture the full scope of black women’s realities within her work with a short documentary series as well as branded merchandise.
But the first point of entry is the hashtag, which allows black women to use digital media as a platform to define our lived experiences.
Jarmon exemplifies this in a short list of several fascinating reasons why #BlackGirlsAreFromTheFuture including:
#Blackgirlsarefromthefuture because we know that a barometer of Black women’s freedom is the ability create, control, sale and disseminate our stories in mainstream and niche new media spaces.
#Blackgirlsarefromthefuture because we make the shit we believe in.
#BlackGirlsarefromthefuture because they understand that Black women’s sexuality is a racialized sexuality.
#Blackgirlsarefromthefuture because Black girls be cyborging and resisting the matrix at the same time.
#Blackgirlsarefromthefuture because they understand that when Black women are free, everyone will be free.
#BlackGirlsarefromthefuture because they understand that the some people may not get the art that they create, but they go ahead and create it anyway.
#Blackgirlsarefromthefuture so they have to be clear with themselves about how much their work is worth.
For further information on the “Black Girls are from the Future,” visit the brand’s website.