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Black Women on Team USA Have to Play Two Games

Black Women in Sports

Black Women on Team USA Have to Play Two Games


Seven Olympians—including Gwen Berry, Keturah Orji, and Natalie Hinds—reflect on the overwhelming month before Tokyo.

In the past month, Black women Olympians have found themselves at the center of various firestorms. Hammer thrower Gwen Berry faced a barrage of media attention after turning her back in protest on the podium at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials on June 26, as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played by surprise during her medal ceremony. Berry, who has a history of protesting for racial justice, said she felt the event’s organizers targeted her personally by catching her off guard with the anthem. Then, after sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson became an overnight sensation for her supersonic qualifying sprint in the 100 meters and captivating post-race interview, she tested positive for marijuana—a substance that the World Anti-Doping Agency bans for competition—and was disqualified from the Tokyo Games. Despite being eligible for inclusion, Richardson was also then left off the U.S. 4×100-meter relay team. And after publicly baring painful details about an abortion to fight a

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Black Butterfly Beautiful”

The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

Similarly, there is no one ideal image of a black woman -- each is gorgeous in her right. All African-Americans share a glorious history of struggle and perseverance that has funneled into the modern black renaissance. And, like the graceful butterfly, the awakened black woman exemplifies the dazzling beauty of that cultural evolution.

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