Book Review: Black Girl Magic

Book Review: The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2 Black Girl Magic, Edited by Jamila Woods, Mahogany Browne, and Idrissa Simmonds

By Nicholas Goodly

Black Girl Magic is the second installment of the BreakBeat Poets Series. The BreakBeat Poets Series does a remarkable job of canonizing the historical and present moment in black poetry.  This book celebrates the work of black woman poets from all backgrounds. Edited by the expert hands of Jamila Woods, Mahogany Browne, and Idrissa Simmonds, the entire diaspora of blackness is represented, ranging in age, education, sexuality, and region. The chapters are organized with an intuitive flow, ordered by broad and ever-shifting emotional themes. Contemporary culture references and images remix traditional forms; furious and swag-filled poems share space seamlessly with quiet and contemplative works about love and loss.

The good thing about the variety of writers and styles in the collection is that there is something for everyone here. The book appeals to people who are new to poetry as well as seasoned poetry lovers.  I can share these poems with my mom, cousins, and aunts, giving them the opportunity to see themselves reflected in art, a chance not as readily available for black girls. For those curious about the purpose of poetry in today’s society, this book demonstrates it. This book is a great selection for anyone ages 13+ interested in witnessing the magic of poetry today, of seeing how powerful language can be in the hands of black women.