Black Girl Magic
SPONSORED: #BlackGirlMagic: Celebrating the Drive for Black History Month
Black Girl Magic
'ESSENCE Black Girl Magic' Episode 3: Junior Olympian Qaisera Alexis Defies All Odds
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ESSENCE Black Girl Magic Episode 5: Newark Grad A’Dorian is Redefining Self-Love
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'ESSENCE Black Girl Magic' Episode 5: A'Dorian Murray-Thomas Explores Social Media: Highs and Lows
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'ESSENCE Black Girl Magic' Episode 5: 'A'Dorian, Radical Self-Lover' Artist Gelila Mesfin Talks Art And Her Personal Brand of #BlackGirlMagic
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'ESSENCE Black Girl Magic' Episode 5: A Conversation With 'A'Dorian' Directors Lacey Schwartz and Mehret Mandefro
Black Girl Magic
SPONSORED: Atlanta Elementary School Teacher Shows Us How To Christmas Better
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‘ESSENCE Black Girl Magic’ Episode 5: Teaching Self-Love and Acceptance
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ESSENCE Black Girl Magic: Meet Episode 4 Director Nailah Jefferson
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Meet Party Planner Iman Dean

'ESSENCE Black Girl Magic' Episode 6: A Foster Child's Story of Resilience and Strength

A New York foster teen tells her story of surviving neglect and exploring her passion for the creative arts.

Directed by Stefani Saintonge, this episode of ‘Black Girl Magic’ follows Gio and her sister who have been in and out of foster care since they were toddlers. Now living in separate foster homes, Gio is learning the art of resilience while developing her innate sense as a creator and visionary.

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

[MUSIC] I feel like I've always look at the world different because of what I've been through. [MUSIC] You ever seen Madeline? No. [LAUGH] Well, in Madeline, they have rows of tall beds. [MUSIC] It's like rooms of the same thing, it's a room where they have ten beds [MUSIC] I've been here like three, four times. My sister only been here once. She was only four. I hate it there. [MUSIC] Children can languish in foster care for years, oftentimes when they are infants to the time that they are adults. And then when they turn 21, they are literally turned out to the street with a MetroCard and a couple of dollars. Third house that we went to, that It had to be one of our worst homes. We was barely eating, Ensure was everything, it was life to me. I would have to steal in order for it to get us to eat. [MUSIC] There's all these agencies who get paid to keep children in foster care. Unfortunately children are being abused in the system. Being neglected in the system. Most of the children in foster care just like most of the children in the criminal justice system look like me. They're children of color. I would turn up all the time. Yelling, screaming. Hitting people, just so I could see my sister. How I'm gonna know if she's all right? They like to separate people and I was making it known we're not going nowhere, we will stay in this building forever [LAUGH] if we have to, we're not being separated. So I had to do what I had to do. [BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] My little pride and joy. I love her, I love her with all types of passions, everything. That's like my daughter. [LAUGH] I don't know. I just love her. She's like the complete opposite of me. I'm like the boy and she's legit the girl. She likes the glitter, she likes the heels, the makeup. Everything I hate is what she loves. When I was younger, I used to try to dress her up like a boy, everything. That's how I always dress and I've always felt comfortable like that. I used to be king, she used to be the princess. [MUSIC] She never use to get her hair done, I never use to have my hair done. We used to have dirty clothes. That's how I learned how to wash clothes, taking stuff to the laundry trial and error, we just going to try it till it smells good, so. [LAUGH] I just didn't want her to go through what I was going through. Like, I tried to make it seem like we was living in as good of a predicament as possible. We don't live together at the moment, but if I see her every day, that would make me happy. That would brighten up my day, really. [LAUGH] [MUSIC] All this is unofficial? [BLANK_AUDIO] Yeah. [BLANK_AUDIO] Every day somebody dying in these streets and it's getting kinda hard to make ends meet. Your son is slinging drugs and going in and out of jail when you just found out your daughter's pregnant. Hell MIA father really shows how much he cares especially since he hasn't bothered to see his kids in years. Sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears. I never got a thank you after all these years. Feel like you reaching your breaking point or wanna run away just so you could prove a point. But what's the point? Pick your head up and replace your frown. Because you'll never know you rose unless you hit the ground. There's only one you in this world. So you gotta stand up. And like Tupac said you gotta keep your head up. [MUSIC] When you see things through a camera, [BLANK_AUDIO] You see it completely different. [MUSIC] After seeing her through the camera, I was like, my God. One of my closest friends is so beautiful. [MUSIC] Three, two, one. [NOISE] Let's go [UNKNOWN] Okay, so we have Gio. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] Expressing my imagination through art was the only real way for me to be happy. [MUSIC] After the fight We, my mother got cut, I got cut on the side of my face. I'm goofy, fun, good vibes. There's a certain energy that every group brings. And there's always a couple of students that foster the bonding and foster the community. And I think Gio is acting as one of those students in this group. Thanks. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] My biggest fear is dying with out being known. [MUSIC] I want to just be a person that the block knew or a person that this street knew or these people knew. [MUSIC] You see how when Michael Jackson died the whole world cried? I want that to happen [UNKNOWN]. [MUSIC] I never had nothing So. [MUSIC] I want everything. [MUSIC]