It’s Not Just Simone Biles. Gen Z’s Black Girls Know All About Mental Health Struggles.
October 7, 2021
AS A BLACK WOMAN, WE JUST HAVE TO BE GREATER. BECAUSE EVEN WHEN WE BREAK RECORDS AND STUFF, THEY ALMOST DIM IT DOWN, AS IF IT’S JUST NORMAL.
- Simone Biles
These were some of the thoughts that Simone Biles shared for a story recently published by the New York Magazine about her journey to becoming the greatest athlete of all time. Simone shares the serious challenges she faced navigating a United States Women’s Gymnastics program that had completely abandoned its duties to protect and support the young ladies that our nation had entrusted them with.
Throughout the story, you can feel the burden, stress, and fear that Simone carried throughout her Olympic competitions. She expressed how she should have quit gymnastics well before the Tokyo games, yet she persevered and pursued her dreams. And, in spite of the trauma she has endured, she finished this most recent chapter in her life by once again standing strong, owning her actions and controlling her journey when recently testifying before the United States Senate’s Judiciary Committee about being a survivor of sexual abuse.
Throughout Simone’s journey, Black girls and young women, especially those in Generation Z, have watched her progress. We cheered her on and have and will continue to defiantly defend her status as the GOAT. We recognize that her greatness extends well beyond the gym. We see in her journey many similarities to our own journeys navigating an America that has never valued us for our own humanity.
As the nation focused on the sexual abuse scandal in USA Women’s Gymnastics and Simone’s Tokyo Olympic decisions, Generation Z Black Girls connected to Simone’s story in the growing realities of the hostile environment many of us face each day in our nation’s school system.
Generation Z Black girls are very aware of the realities of growing microaggressions and open racism we are facing in our lives.
As with everything going on in our nation since 2016, Generation Z Black girls are very aware of the realities of growing microaggressions and open racism we are facing in our lives. Well before Simone’s heroic actions, there was overwhelming data that Black girls were facing serious and threatening issues in our society.