An Open Letter to the Cheer Community
There is a huge elephant in the room and that room is cheerleading. In 2015, we decided to give that elephant a voice in the form of Black Girls Cheer. We are often asked by the community at large…WHY?
Well, the conversations swirling around the community regarding the outrage voiced surrounding the murder of George Floyd, among others, are clear indicators of that why. Cheer is life, or so many say. And if you believe that, then you know that we cannot dissect a person’s lived experiences and separate that from a space where they spend a large majority of their time. In fact, the Black Girls Cheer movement has spilled outside of our private Facebook group and gained the traction and exposure it has because of the reality of the inequitable experiences of black athletes within cheerleading that are reflective of their lived experiences in the world at large. Black program owners, coaches, athletes and parents are crying out because their voices are consistently silenced and their experiences diminished under the guise of this not being the “place” to speak when this is a place of inequitable experience. The reality is, our problem is everyone’s problem.
As Dr. Martin Luther King stated in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail,
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
It is alarming to see that there are those that believe in the value of investing time in building athletes but fail to recognize that our ultimate responsibility to help build young adults. And, part of building young adults requires taking a definitive stance and demonstrating strength of character whenever issues arise. There is an opportunity here. And how you choose to take advantage of this opportunity, or not, will be a demonstration of your commitment to the growth and development of our athletes; i.e. our future.
~Black Girls Cheer