So I just came across this video on Facebook of Ernestine Johnson reciting this poem on the Arsenio Hall show. The poem is so relevant and also relative as it highlights the backhanded compliment that so many black girls (myself included) have received. Being told by someone that you “talk white” (what is that anyway?) or that you’re not the average black girl only reinforces the stigma that black girls are somehow less than. It falls right in line with being told that you are pretty for a black girl. Ernestine so eloquently put into words how many girls feel. I can’t wait to see more of Ernestine’s work in the future.
I just watched Aly Raisman read her victim impact statement at Larry Nassar’s sentence hearing, and it was absolutely amazing. She spoke with so much grace and elegance. She was poised and fierce, and made her point very clear that she is not a victim, but a survivor. She also spoke about how so many girls were brushed aside when they came forward about their experiences with the doctor. I find that to be absolutely appalling. The fact that organizations such as the U.S.A. Gymnastics and U.S. Olympic Committee enabled this monster to continue practicing while dismissing the countless allegations against him makes me sick to my stomach. These organizations proved that they were only concerned about their athletes winning. They did not value these girls as human beings at all. It’s so heartbreaking to know that while I was watching these girls compete for medals, they were being molested and abused.
Aly and the other girls are not just winners at the Olympics, but they were winners in the courtroom. Their voices were heard loud and clear, and I’m so proud of them. I hope that they continue to heal and go on to live healthy lives.