WP profiled the ultimate Black Girl Magic squad! Born and raised in Southwest Washington, the fabulous four, Leona Barnes, Gladys Butler, Ruth Hammett, and Bernice Underwood are the new benchmark for our squad goals.

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 These four ladies grew up together, raised babies together and, now at 99, anticipate turning 100 together. “We all are grateful, and we thank the Lord for all of us to see 99,” said Barnes. “It came so fast, I didn’t realize it,” Underwood said.

They grew up in a time where “a Black girl couldn’t try on clothes or hats at the department store; she had to take a gamble that the items she bought would fit or that she would find someone in the neighborhood willing to buy them off her.”

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Now we have e-commerce and can’t be bothered to try things on in the stores. We a have a Black president and Black first lady – things these four never fathomed they’d see. “That a Black man became president of the United States,” Barnes said softly. “I never thought in my wildest dreams that that would ever happen. That’s how far down we were.”

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This squad, who will soon also see 100 has “cared for each other, “loved each other” and has “never had a cross word” to one another.