”The feeling the phrase #blackgirlmagic invokes precedes the hashtag. Always. Not the other way around. It’s somewhere in my sister-friend impulsively grabbing my hand and squeezing it and comparing our love to cocoa butter. It is when we succeed but I also think it can include our messy selves. It is felt. It is a grasping. It is a centring. I don’t hold space for the ways these hashtags get co-opted and saturated into blithe gestures and literal clickbait. I do not have the capacity. I’m not on twitter—yet. Blackness is one of the biggest forms of cultural import and export within a capitalist structure. The gesture of importation is so insidious that most Canadians have a limited understanding of the history of blackness here. Instead I’ve grown up with folks comfortably projecting me into a superficial understanding of an African-American history. It fosters this notion that Canada was and remains a sanctuary in the north. This projection also erases the nuance and multitude of experiences of blackness.

Our magic is complex. Cecil Emckee’s Strolling series or Polygot exude #blackgirlmagic to me.”

 – Jessica Karuhanga

New Heartbeats feature. 


New feature on Heartbeats featuring Kay Ulanday Barrett.

“To think, colonization and displacement and systemic struggle takes so many things away, but brown people remember how they grew up through tastes, through community and organization kitchens. Self and collective preservation knows there’s magic in food.”

Catch Kay in Toronto on February 19 at George Brown College.


“You can’t just be of colour and be at those shows or play in those spaces. It should be that simple, but it’s never that cut and dry. There’s a lot of weird race stuff I sometimes deal with even being on the business side interacting with artists, promoters, and label people. A lot of these situations vary and it’s never some blatantly racist shit, but it often feels like there’s some sort of divide coming into an established music community just ‘doing you.’ What 'you’ are doesn’t always work for people. It makes them feel weird, it’s too much for them, it’s too 'black.’

New feature on Max Mohenu on heart-beats.ca where he discusses working in the music industry, being a DJ, talking about race on Facebook and his new project Refining Masc

Interview & photos by Vivek Shraya.


“Colombian-born (Baranquilla baby) Lido Pimienta welcomed me into her home on a bitterly cold afternoon and I was immediately blown away by her confidence. As immigrants and children of immigrants, we learn to survive by killing that which makes us different or pretending it was never there. Lido’s creative drive seems unaffected by systemic prejudices that aim to keep us in our lane. From drawings to textiles and music (new album out this year!), Lido will find a way.”

Read full interview at Hearbeats

Photos and interview by Karen Campos Castillo

@lidopepper on tumblr