Gwendolyn Berry (L), third place, protests the U.S. flag during the U.S. National Anthem as DeAnna Price (C), first place, and Brooke Andersen, second place, also stand on the podium after the Women's Hammer Throw final on day nine of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials. Getty Images.

Black Girl Magic

Tokyo is about to be hit with some serious melanin. For the first time in history, Black women are set to own the narrative at this year’s Olympics. We’re about to be up in the place, red hair, gold grill and all. Black women are taking the Olympics by land, by air and by sea. From swimming with Simone Manuel, to air with Simone Biles, to land with Raevyn Rogers. But that’s not all, if you haven’t seen the viral video of Raeven Sanders throwing the shotput, you’re missing a treat. (Head over to our social media page and check it out). Black girl magic is in full effect and I am here for every minute of it. Whether they’re breaking barriers or erasing cultural stigmas, these fearless women are doing what needs to be done to show the world our Black is beautiful and has no limits. 

So then why are Black women scaring Republicans?

ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Not everyone is moved by the Black girl joy. In fact, several in the GOP have made Black women the epicenter of their cultural wars. U.S. Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry recently got fed up after Congressman Dan Crenshaw went on Fox News to deride Berry’s decision to turn her back when the national anthem played as she stepped onto the podium to receive a bronze medal in the U.S. track and field trials. Berry took that opportunity to don a black t-shirt that read “Activist Athlete.” Crenshaw and others called for her removal from the team. Berry isn’t bothered, saying, “At this point, y’all are obsessed with me.” She added, “My purpose and my mission is bigger than sports…I’m here to represent those who died due to systemic racism.” It’s not just sports that has Republicans painting Black women as villains in their culture wars. We saw it with Nikole Hannah-Jones, journalist and Pulitzer winner behind the 1619 Project, which has become the source of conservative ire since its publication. So much so, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill refused to give Hannah-Jones tenure because of conservative backlash. Somebody better tell these folks that Black women shall not be moved. Their ire only fuels our fire.

COVID’s cousin comes to dinner

Shifting gears, I know we are back to business as usual, kicking it with crowds, hanging with homies. Yes, we’ve gotten a handle on the coronavirus, but it’s cousin, Delta, is in town and wrecking havoc. Now that’s not to scare anyone because the CDC says we still need to live life to the fullest IF you’re fully vaccinated. No judgment but I can’t understand how anybody isnt fully vaccinated. Eighty percent of the deaths now are with unvaccinated people. The volume of stories from people saying ‘I should have’ as they lay on their deathbed or they watch a loved one die, is monumental. I understand people may have personal reasons or health reasons, but if you can, you should. And since the Delta variant is out here trying to cause a universal takedown on it own, vaccinated or not, still mask up, still wash your hands, still play it safe.

Texas tests troubles

Students in Texas did horrible on the recent standardized test, particularly virtual learners. Raise your hand if you’re surprised. I knew on Day two of virtual learning that it wasn’t for my kid -and don’t tell anybody but it wasn’t for me either because I had to be principal (corralling him out of bed); the lunch lady (making his lunch); the teacher (teaching this crazy new math); and hall monitor (keep him from napping). All while trying to hold down my own virtual job. So yeah, virtual learning was a huge ‘no thank you for me’ and unfortunately for thousands of Texas students as well. Now is the question is how do we fix it how do we move forward and make sure that our kids, especially minority children who are already being left behind, don’t get left behind even more. Hopefully, educators are busy this summer coming up with a plan to turn those numbers around. PS. Shout-out to teachers. Y’all the real MVPs.