Duke University’s Class of 2018 Defines #BlackGirlMagic

"I hope many young black queens see these women as inspiration."

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I’m speechless ,take a moment to look at my sister and her class of graduating Educated Strong Amazing Black Women from Duke University. I hope many young black queens see these women as an inspiration , and an encouragement to never let anybody tell you that you can’t do or become something amazing in life👸🏽👸🏾👸🏿😍😍✨✨@blavity @21ninety @essence @afropunk @thecgirlinc @michelleobama @melaninsquadgoals @michelleobama @daily.melanin.dosage #blackgirlmagic #blackqueens #blackisbeautiful #TheQueensOfDukeUniversity #blackwomen #melanin #melaninpoppin #beutiful #sisters #loveyourself #queens #dukeuniversity #Repost(Tag and Like!!!!! Let’s get these queens reposted 💛💛💛)#cute #wcw ~ [Photo credits : Joseph W . Kim @josephwkim ~✨✨]

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A stunning photo of Black women’s beauty and education is starting to gain traction. Women from Duke University’s class of 2018 posed for a group photo that firmly embraces the message of Black Girl Magic.

“I’m speechless,” wrote Instagram user @forieign.mah, the sister of one of the women photographed. “Take a moment to look at my sister and her class of graduating educated, strong, amazing Black women from Duke University. I hope many young Black queens see these women as an inspiration and an encouragement to never let anybody tell you that you can’t do or become something amazing in life.”

The 46 women’s images were shot by photographer Joseph W. Kim, a fellow Duke student who explained on his website that he has a passion for “telling the stories of people whose stories aren’t often heard.”

On Twitter, the sister of one of the women shared with Atlanta Black Star what she hopes other Black women get from seeing the photos.


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As the photo begins to spread, Duke Univerity has taken notice.

And so have other Twitter users.

“The response has been amazing,” said Sade Abiodun, one of the students who partook in the shoot. “The idea that something like this has gone viral matters so much in two ways: affirming the beauty of blackness but even more so blackness within an academic space. People keep asking, ‘How did y’all pull it together?’ and, ‘Are you all friends?’ and the truth is much deeper than a yes or no. These are women that I’ve known and interacted with, struggled with, [and] celebrated with since I first stepped foot on this campus. Even for those of us who aren’t personally well acquainted, we all know of each other and still share in a certain familiarity and mutual love and respect for our journeys through Duke.”

The image is the latest in a string of photos designed to uplift Black women and encourage them to recognize their beauty. Last month, nursing student Sameria Gbieor organized a photoshoot group of friends to inspire dark-skinned girls to love themselves.

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