This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the 2019 NCAA Track and Field meet in Austin, TX, thanks to my daughter who qualified in the 800 meter run. The best of the best, division 1 athletes, competed for a NCAA title. The men competed on days 1 and day 3, while the women competed on days 2 and 4.
On Saturday night, the meet couldn’t be anymore perfect. The heat from earlier in the day slowly cooled down and the competition heated up. As a former collegiate runner, it was really nice to be in the stands and not on the field. While waiting for the 800 meters to start, I was watching the triple jumpers. I was amazed at their strength, focus and drive. These young ladies were confident and jumping their hearts out! Let me tell you, the strength of a woman is an amazing thing to watch.
It wasn’t until the final few jumps and the women’s 100 meter dash that I started to focus on the spectrum of black women participating in every event. It sent chills, good chills, up and down my spine. So many different hairstyles, complexions, heights, shapes and everything in between, we were there…breaking records and making track and field history! Yes, I had a #blackgirlmagic spiritual moment and it was amazing! I was so proud.
I honestly can not think of any other sport that creates that kind of emotion in me. Yes, there is Serena Williams, Dominique Dawes and Ginger Howard and so many others, but there is something about having an arena filled with black, smart, athletic and dominating young women. Track and field embodies all of that.
I love being a woman and I am extremely proud to be a black woman, a black mother. There are definitely frustrations that come along with it but you learn, “teach”, re-adjust and move on.
My daughter? She made it to the finals and came in second overall. She got her NCAA trophy and represented women and women of color, along with her competitors extremely well. I couldn’t ask for a better day! If you are a woman of color in sports or any profession, I applaud you and I will be in the stands cheering for you. There’s a lot to be done, so keep moving forward, ladies!