Ava DuVernay appeared at the 2016 ESSENCE Festival Empowerment Experience for a keynote conversation with Melissa Harris-Perry.
Do you believe in Black Girl Magic? Of course you do. Director extraordinaire and all around Black girl magician, Ava DuVernay believes, but she also believes in Black girl reality. And what a beautiful reality she has: multiple esteemed awards for her incredible films, she hangs out with Oprah and honestly, she lives Beyoncé lyrics in real life: “I dream it, I work hard, I grind 'til I own it.”
That’s precisely why ESSENCE Festival’s Empowerment Experience needed her and she graced the excited crowd with her regal, quiet and stunning presence for a moment and a message (which is what her speech was called, so you see what we did there?).
And what the attendees received was just that. Here are all the amazing things Ava said that could be your next profound tweet.
On Black Girl Magic: “Black Girl Magic is a rallying call of recognition. Embedded in the everyday is a magnificence that is so easy to miss because we’re so mired in the struggle and what society says we are.”
On Getting That Dream Job: “I didn’t give up my day job for the dream that I had. I lived and worked check to check. I only quit my job right before Selma.”
On TV: “I love what’s on TV right now, but we should be able to have balance—different shows, different pace and different things.”
On Her New Show, “Queen Sugar”: “If you love black man, if you love black women, you will see something you’ll love.”
On Self-Care: “We have so much coming in as sisters, when is our interior life ever put at the forefront. We constantly want to give to other people. The word no is important. It’s self-abuse. Too much of not caring for yourself is not a good thing. We’re bad at that as achievers. Self-care is a priority and we have to do it more.”
On Her Legacy: “I don’t have big dreams. I just want to be here in five years, breathing and doing what I love to do. I just need to be free to tell my stories from my spirit, my heart…unrestricted. Life is fleeting. If we could be here doing what we love to do, that is success.”