OPEN LETTER: TO THE PUBLIC AND GABBY DOUGLAS
Y’all, we have failed Gabby Douglas, yet again. She has made her mark in American History as the first African American woman to win Olympic Gold in the Individual All Around competition. She is a class act and a force to be reckoned with.
So why the criticism? Must we poke fun at her hair (again)? Must we call her out for not having her hand on her heart? In a society that disrespects the black body day in and day out, why can’t we collectively celebrate her, and cheer her on?
Gabby is someone’s child. She is someone’s sister. She is someone’s friend. She is some little black girl’s shero. It’s disappointing to see the comments on social media. They are hurtful and unnecessary, not only for Gabby, but for those who love her.
While she has faced some challenges, obstacles, and disappointments in Rio, she has absolutely nothing to prove. A two time Olympian with three gold medals. Placed 3rd in the qualifier for the All Around, which makes her one of the top in the world. She has done her job as an athlete. She has done it well.
Hold your head up. Hold it up high.
You have accomplished at 20 what some could only hope for. You are the dream of our ancestors. You have inspired a generation of future gymnasts.
I want you to know that you are loved. You are appreciated. You have nothing to prove to anyone, including yourself. You are enough. Remember that. Keep shining.