Black Chicks That Rule: Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas

Can you imagine at the young age of 14 leaving your family to live with strangers and put everything on the line in pursuit of your dreams? What about being the mother that let her go? Can you see inviting that young black girl to come live with you and your white family? And then see yourself with tears of joy as that brave young girl makes Olympic history?


Meet Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas. This young woman became a household name when she made history at the 2012 London Summer Olympics as the first African-American gymnast and the first woman of color of any nationality to win gold in the Individual All-Around competition. She is the first American gymnast to take home the gold in both the Individual All-Around and the Team Competition.

As her name was called for the gold her mother, Natalie Hawkins,  and host-mother, Missy Parton, were captured on video crying side-by-side. Gabby Douglas moved to Des Moines, IA to train with elite coach, Liang Chow. Her courage is what makes this such a remarkable story. The youngest of four, it was her older sister that first got her into gymnastics. This young woman overcame bullying and almost quit the sport. Hear more of her story below.

She has become a role model for many young black girls who aspire to achieve their dreams no matter how challenging it seems. Visit her site to learn more about her. She was  featured on the cover of Essence magazine in December, 2013. Download the issue on your iPhone/iPad if you missed it! Lifetime announced it plans on filming the Gabby Douglas story. As if all of that wasn’t enough, she has authored two books, Raising the Bar and Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith.

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and Raising the Bar

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