She twirled. I twirled. Smiled too and I smiled. Joy so mesmerizing made her mere rising radiant. It was afterall a side hobby, something like an appetizer.

Yet, her mere spelling of Murraya, not to be confused with a certain John Murray, would ushered a look into a girl so avant-garde that her name is literally Avant-garde.

Just about everything she does is also amazing. Every thing she touches, defies words too.

I imagine this is the purest definition of black girl joy I have seen in a long time. Then again, when was the last time you saw black girls in joy? When was the last time we even represented little girls like Zalia for their unconventional and amazing abilities?

I imagine this is what representation can be when the joys of black girls are made known. I imagine too this representation is so long overdue for so many little girls like Zalia who never see their faces represented in places and spaces as if their mere existence cannot be mesmerizing even when their rising is mere. I imagine that representation is necessary for a society so bent on telling black and brown children that the only thing about being children is representation that isn’t black and brown. I imagine that black girls and their joy can make you smile, twirl too, if it’s fully represented.

In Zalia, we saw joy so unbridled, joy so undefined, joy so understated, joy so divine, joy by design, joy that can never be denied. For this joy is so sublime. This joy is so sincere. This joy is so supreme for a moment of destiny so long overdue for all black and brown children, mine included. This representation is in our hands if only we start to create spaces where it can thrive. Spaces where it belongs. Spaces we build with our hands, our way, our words. Yesterday, a girl so avant-garde showed us the way. Now it up to all of us to lead the way. I am, in my own way.