Skip to main content

Dear Allyson Felix, Somebody's Studyin' You

Dear Allyson Felix,

First, I want to wish you all the best of success at the 2012 London Olympics.  I hope that you exceed beyond your wildest expectations.

In fact, I need you to.

Quite frankly, Ms. Felix, I really didn't know much about you until my little seven year-old cousin started talking about you.  You see, she runs the 100 and 200 meters.  She hasn't had a lot of coaching, and she's been winning on sheer talent alone.  She's the eighth fastest seven year-old in the AAU Western Region Junior Olympics and has qualified for the AAU National Junior Olympics in the 100 meters this summer.

And she's studyin' you.  I mean that in the southern sense of the word.  She watches your form.  She imitates how you slice the air with your hands when you run. She watches how you get out of the blocks. And she's having fun doing it.

She wants to do what you're doing.

In the midst of it all, this beautiful, intelligent, sweet little girl is surrounded by negative images of what we as black women and girls are.  She is a dark-skinned girl in a predominantly blond white girl world.  Little white girls have told her that they can't sit next to her because she's brown, that her long braids feel like rope, and that her hair should be used as a mop.

Despite it all, she continues to excel.  Did I tell you that she's smart as a whip, plays the piano by ear, and does hip-hop dance?

And she's studyin' you.  Your victory will represent all that is possible to her.

So, Ms. Felix, as much as you may believe that you're running for yourself or your country, you're also running for a little dark-skinned girl in Southern California who still questions her beauty and her worth and runs like the wind because she's been studyin' you.  She needs all the positive images of black women she can possibly get to counteract what she deals with as a dark-skinned little girl in a blond white girl world.

So for this year, I just really need you to win. For her.  No pressure.  :-)

Good luck and God speed, Allyson Felix.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

When You Leave The Ghetto, Don't Bring It With You

NBA player Gilbert Arenas brings a gun to an NBA locker room. NBA player Ron Artest lets his pit bulls run wild and free in Loomis, California while playing for the Sacramento Kings. NFL player Michael Vick did time for fighting dogs. And NFL player Plaxico Burress is doing time for shooting his damn self.

What do all these men have in common? BMNB would say an inability to make a profound paradigm shift. I’m less eloquent than BMNB is, so I’ll say it differently: The inability to leave the ghetto behind.

Yes, call me saditty, bourgie, elitist, stuck-up, whatever. I don’t care. Until you’ve had a tweaker ruin your Thanksgiving turkey, you don’t even know (more on that later), and I’m not trying to hear you.

Living in Western Placer County, my husband and I continue to hear stories from folks like us who had to flee “those who can’t leave the ghetto behind.” You know these people, and they come in all races. In our case, we had returned to Sacramento in 2004 and 2005, respective…

Black Woman Blogging's Gun Control Proposal

Thanks to a relative who sent me death threats, I became a gun owner. Reluctantly.  What can I say.  You don't choose your family.

That said, I'm for gun control.

As far as I'm concerned, America lost its moral compass when we didn't do squat after Sandy Hook.  If you can allow a madman to murder children and not be moved to do nothing, you have no moral compass.  Period.

Now that we've broken an unfortunate record for the number of people killed in a mass shooting, perhaps we as a country are ready to get our minds right about gun control.  Perhaps.  So in that spirit, I offer my gun control proposal.

First, we need to agree on some real (not alternative) facts and principles:

1.  There is no such thing as an unlimited right.  Yes, people, there are no unlimited rights protected under the Constitution.  Your right to free speech?  Well, not all speech is protected under the First Amendment and even protected speech can be limited by time, place and manner.  Your…

Retired Man Walking: Too Young to Retire, Too Old to Take Shit

A while back I ran into a friend and fellow professional employed by the State of California, and he offered me his perspective on State employment as a tail-end Baby Boomer like myself -- someone who can't retire because he lacks the requisite age or years of service, but, unlike myself, is tired of taking shit from superiors who don't know what to do with you.

Although my friend gave his permission for me to use his name in this blog entry, I decline to do so because what he does is so specialized that it would not be hard for anyone to identify him as one of the few African American men, if not the only African-American man, in California state civil service who does what he does. For purposes of this blog entry, I will refer to him as he now refers to himself:  Retired Man Walking.

Retired Man Walking, or RMW, has an interesting philosophy he applies to working for the State as a professional who isn't old enough to retire but has been around long enough to know the s…