By Madalyn McKnight
I feel like she is an aunt to me so I call her Damita Jo. But not just any aunt. That cool aunt that lets you call her by her given name and introduces you to style, independence, and the strength of a woman. That is how I felt growing up listening to Janet Damita Jo Jackson. Everything about Janet exudes black girl magic. I remember the first time I saw the Velvet Rope Tour on ABCFamily back in the day. I tried to mimic her moves and facial expressions. I also remember voting daily for her to be entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her illustrious career somehow came down to the vote of regular people that have final say on whether or not she was worthy.
She is not regular, and OF COURSE, she is worthy.
Her career doesn’t even require dialogue. She is a force, a talent, a trendsetter, and has been slaying on and off screen since she could literally crawl. With a background not lacking in talent and exposure, for some reason (and we really know the reason) Janet still had to prove she could stand on her own and has established herself as one of the most iconic entertainers in existence. The thing is, you and I are in good company because she has the same black girl magic that lives in each and every one of us. Once we tap into our God-given potential, we can unlock doors that we thought were only accessible to others.
I do not have an interest in singing, dancing, or touring the world, but I am constantly asking God to reveal the road my feet should tread. I ask for His guidance for even the simplest of decision making and long to hear His voice more than all of the money in the world. Once I walk in my calling, I will channel Damita Jo and others like her. Use my platform to do good in the world, and do it my way. I will inspire and create work that lives generations after I am long gone. If Janet has taught me nothing else, it is to never quit, remain private, and let the work speak for itself. You need to be like Damita, and when the time comes, be the Janet I know you can be!
Shine woman SHINE!
Madalyn McKnight is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. A rare blackbird who has the range and a young black professional with impactful words! Follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @singsongblackbird and twitter @singsongblckbrd