— Beyoncé doce trece (@greatvaluetrash) June 1, 2017
— Tressie Mc (@tressiemcphd) June 2, 2017
Now that I have watched this video 4 times and have found myself weeping, I need to share a few thoughts:
Art can do this for us: go deep, unlock the floodgates of emotions and remind us that we are not here by accident.
This song has always touched me. I was about the singer’s age (15) when it came out. I never saw Dreamgirls live but I sure knew that song.
Tressie’s tweet was my alert. And #BlackGirlMagic means more to me than I usually say. As Sarah Ikumu begins singing I find myself taken aback, pulled deep into my feelings. There’s a connection to the tone, the richness of her voice, the tradition of singers and singing she is bringing to life with such piercing confidence.
Her facial expressions tell you she knows exactly who she is when she is singing. There is no doubt, no reservation, no hesitation. She is a woman who knows her greatness, full stop.
I don’t need to see the audience’s response to know how I feel during these precious 5 minutes. Watching Sarah and her command of the stage are mesmerizing. She holds me and does not let go until the very last exhale of that song. My tears and heart swelling are the only natural responses.
For me this performance has everything to do with belief and being our full selves. Because Sarah does this so forcefully, she invites me to do the same: believe – and be my full self. To believe and be great. To believe and floor the audience. To believe and know that #BlackGirlMagic stands for me too, at 5 at 15, at 50.
Thank you, Sarah Ikumu, for sharing your particular magic and rekindling mine.