Good Evening! How are things going for you on this Sunday evening? I hope that things are going great for you. I was reading an article on the late Florence Griffith Joyner and decided to blog about it. You know the article had to be good for this writer to blog about it so here it goes…
Florence Griffith Joyner, better known as Flo Jo, was a famous African American track and field athlete. She was the fastest woman in the world during her time and she is still known as the fastest woman in the world today. No one has yet to beat her records or even come close to her style. Flo Jo was well known for her bold outfits, jewelry, long hair and long nails.
During her running days, Flo Jo was often accused of taking steroids because many found it hard to believe that a Black woman could run that fast. Because of such claims, Flo Jo was subjected to a number of drug tests to which she passed every single time. I remember as a child watching clips of her in the Olympics in elementary school. I will never forget the stream of tears that fell down her face when she won another gold medal.
Growing up, Flo Jo would hear how Black people were considered as inferior and would never amount to anything, let alone in sports. While still a child, Flo Jo made it her mission to prove such individuals wrong and she did, many times over. She made millions of dollars in endorsements, workout videos, books, fashion and more.
In a world where most Black women are perceived as masculine or “manly” , Flo Jo showed that being a strong Black woman is nothing to be ashamed of even though society at large seems to think otherwise. Flo Jo said it best, “You can be both strong and beautiful even if you happen to be Black. If someone says otherwise, do not listen to them.” This is something my own parents and grandparents instilled in me and my other siblings at an early age.
Sadly, Flo Jo passed away at the age of 38 from a seizure in 1998, but she has left an unprecedented legacy that will last for many years to come. Flo Jo was not only an historic runner, she was a mother, a wife and a cherished friend to many. For a lot of Black girls, teens and women in the world of sports, Flo Jo is the epitome of what it means to be strong, Black and beautiful.
Until next time…