After a year of ongoing lockdowns and traumatic racial reckonings, many of us have wondered: When will joy be back on the menu? Now that spring is officially upon us (and the promise of vaccinations, as well) some of us are seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel—and accepting that the world we are reentering is forever changed (for better or worse).
For British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, the April 2021 issue presented an opportunity “to the intoxicating and audacious power of joy,” as he says in the April Editor’s Letter, adding: “Bold colors, exaggerated lines, exuberant smiles, sparkling eyes, glorious skin, celebration and confidence were all in order.”
All the above are embodied in April’s quartet of cover stars (pictured above) models Janaye Furman, Precious Lee, Achenrin Madit and Mona Tougaard. “It goes without saying that they all understood that when it came to projecting positivity, Black joy—in the wake of so much recent reckoning—would hold particular significance,” writes Enninful. “I love how each of these women ran with the theme and embodied the mood of the moment in her own way.”
In embodying the spirit of Black joy, Precious Lee also gave us refreshed perspective on how our concept of “Black Girl Magic” might evolve, as well—especially as we enter the last week of Black HerStory Month here at The Root (also known as Women’s History Month). “All my dreams are connected to uplifting the collective, not just me,” says Lee, who has been making history of her own as a full-figured woman dominating global runways, and now, the cover of British Vogue. “The benefit—and one of the most positive things about being a big Black girl—is that I am creating things for the first time,” she added.
With that in mind, what does Black Girl Magic look like now?