I can admit
I am not very athletic I am anti-athletic. I can dance my tail off and I gots all the rhythm but once you turn the music off and put a ball in my hand or put me on any type of court, I lose every single ounce of coordination. And it doesnt help that I am competitive so even when I play someone that obviously has more technical skills than I do, I get frustrated because Im losing. Because I have more heart! I want it badder than they do! But that’s not the point of this post…
I love to watch the Olympics. It amazes me what the human body can do. I am amazed at the women’s bodies, especially the track runners (How many hills would I have to run to get a track booty? This is a serious question) and the menz is just pretty to look at. And the individual stories always inspire me.
I think it goes without saying that Gabby Douglas became America’s sweetheart during the Olympics. Her inviting smile, welcoming charm, and limitless grace only magnify her athleticism. She seems so grounded and mature. And her story of triumph and sacrifice is universal. Oh yeah, and she’s a Black Girl.
I am a Black Girl. I will give you a moment to recover from your disbelief…yeah, I know… ok… you good….Moving on. As a Black Girl I am particularly moved by the successes of other Black Girls. But every once in while I have to stop and think, hmmmm, what will it be like when it is so common to see a Black Girl succeed that it doesnt even cause a ripple. No one blinks an eye or thinks twice.
It makes me wonder how my grandparents feel. Going from sharecroppers and nannies to having kids with Master’s degrees and high Naval ranks. And their grandkids with their college degrees, high paying jobs and traveling all over the world. When I am a grandmother will I watch the Olympics with my grandchildren and marvel at all of the colored faces while they dont even notice them?
And if black achievement is no longer deemed exceptional than will Black failure no longer feel like a blight against every Black person? Will there ever be a day when Black girls and Black boys can live their lives without feeling like they are carrying the weight of their people? Will we ever be able to just be?
I hope that day comes and I hope I am alive to see it. But when it does come, like a playful memory of a virginity long lost, we will never forget our first. Barack, Michelle, Oprah, Toni, and now little Golden Gabby. But I hope we dont have firsts for much longer.