For last two weeks, millions of people have tuned their television to watch you in the competition of physical prowess of the most talented athletes of the century as you ran, swam, and leapt through the air with the strength that many of us could only wish we had an ounce of. You have trained in your sports for years, dealing with long hours striving for perfection and excellence, pushing through physical and mental anguish, collecting accolades only to face major losses and disappointment moments later, with no other choice but to smile in the moment, take a rest, and get ready to face the next day.
You were teased in the media by your own countrymen (and women) because of your hair, for your family background, your “attitude”, your dance moves, but you still represented the United States with poise and grace, while managing to collect medal after medal. As a Black woman, these things are our daily struggle in the home, on the job, and many other spaces, but how you all handled the things thrown in your path over the course of the last two weeks is beyond astonishing.
You have opened doors that you may not fully realize because though the events are over, you are still in the moment. There are Black and Brown little girls around the world who are in complete awe of you. They now are demanding swimming lessons and cute bathing suits. Leotards and Dance shoes. They want track spikes. The whole nine yards. Because of YOU and the excellent show you have put on for the world to see.
During the course of the Olympics, #BlackGirlMagic has been used more times than you can count. The same media outlets that took part in villainizing you before you stepped in the arena are now praising you and scrambling to tell your story. Funny how that works, right? They are finally giving the black woman credit we have deserved since the beginning of time.
Rio 2016 might be over, but please be assured your accomplishments will be something on our lips for years to come. As tradition would have it, America came up on top in the medal count, collecting an astounding 121 medals. Black women are responsible for than 30 of them.
I’ve always loved being a Black woman but seeing your achievements in Rio has taken it up 1,000 notches. I am inspired more than ever to be at the top of my game in every aspect of my life. I vow to give it everything I have like you all did, day after day regardless of the day’s events, only resting when the job is done.
Thank you for showing the world what the black woman is: Resilient. Graceful. Hardworking. Confident. Beautiful. Intelligent and so much more. Thank you. It is engraved in history books forever.
Until Next Time.
A Proud Black Woman