Too often you hear the narrative that black women don’t support each other, especially when it comes time to pass the torch. Older women allegedly feel threatened by those coming behind them and rarely reach out to help younger women trying to forge their own path. This may be true for a select few, but there are many more stories of sisters embracing and encouraging each other along the way.
My career is a testament to editors using their power to give me opportunities and teach me to be a better writer. There are a few who took a chance on me, assigning me features for the first time and giving me priceless advice as I struggled to complete them to the best of my ability. I can’t think of those women without smiling and am forever indebted to them.
Gabby Douglas, the 2012 Olympics Gymnastics All-Around Champion, can say she has the support of her predecessor, Dominique Dawes. It’s hard to watch Dawes’ reaction to Gabby Douglas’ achievement and not be moved. Through tears, Dawes conveys how proud she is of Douglas’ record-breaking win. There’s no envy, no resentment, no spirit of competition. In fact, Dawes says she’s thankful she can finally go on her website and “take down the fact that [she] was the only African-American [gymnast] with a gold medal.” She also gives Douglas great advice for managing her newfound fame.