Gabby Douglas (31 Dec 1995 – )
Gabby Douglas made history a few years ago at the tender age of 16, as she won the team all-around gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, and the first Black woman to win gold in the individual all-round category. She was also featured on the cover of the 2012 Sports Illustrated Olympic Preview edition with her teammates (nicknamed the Fierce Five), which was the first time a gymnastics team had been featured on the front of the magazine. She also was featured on one of the 5 Time magazine Olympic edition covers. She has gone on to feature as part of an ad campaign for New Super Marios Bro.2, introduced Alicia Keys on stage at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, and had the dubious honour of performing with Nicki Minaj at the same awards ceremony. She has also won 2 BET awards, and the Associated press Female Athlete of the Year 2012.
There was much debate about Gabbys hair after she won her gold medal by many who believed that her hair should have been more presentable. Martin Luther King Jrs famous speech didn’t include:
‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character and whether or not their hair is on point’
It was so sad that Black people were spending so much time discussing this ‘issue’, and also interesting that White media was perpetuating these discussions by printing and devoting so much air time to Weave vs Natural hair debates.
Gabbys achievements no doubt gave hope to many young Black girls out there who could finally see a Black girl on top of the world, in a discipline which had been dominated by those who, chances are, didn’t care about Gabbys hair at all.