One thing we can both remember growing up is constantly looking for people, women specifically, that looked like us and were doing amazing things in the world. Luckily, we grew up in a time period before the surge of reality tv and social media so the women in the forefront were a tad bit different than those that some of the younger generation are clinging to these days. I grew up knowing that I was going to be my own little version of Claire Huxtable and absorbing all things Lena Horne and Chan was all about Oprah (still is too), Gina Waters and the OG olympian, Dominique Dawes.
With all of that, we thought we would shift our approach for this month’s Boss Chick and give you not one but six athletes - boss chicks in their own right, by the way - that we’re celebrating for Black History Month. You ready to get inspired in the “bossiest” way possible?
We definitely love everything about Ms, Diggins and it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that she just happens to play for the home team, Dallas Wings. Skylar knew that she wanted basketball to be a big part of her life from a young age and knew that attending school at Notre Dame would be what would catapult her basketball career. She led their women’s basketball team to three Final Fours and two championship games which is something not most female college athletes can say. She won the WNBA Most Improved Player award in her second season after being drafted at No. 3. And, put up a fight to make sure that she did not go unnoticed. She has a children's book, Middle School Rules that is based on her childhood, is endorsed by both Nike and Body Armour, and is the only female athlete that is signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports. Oh, and don’t let us forget to mention the basketball camps she hosts for young athletes as a way to pour into the next generation of sports.
Let’s just say that this is a phenomenal woman and she definitely falls into the contender category. With her undefeated record, (yes, you heard that right) she won 24 matches that included 21 knockouts. Do we dare say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree? Excellence was expected from Laila, since she was the daughter of the late, great Muhammad Ali. She retired soon after her twenty fourth match and has been devoting her time to giving back to the community, authoring a book that focuses on encouraging girls to pursue their goals, #Chickspiration at it’s finest and has appeared on several television shows.
With the announcement of the release of her new book, Saving Grace , which will be dropping this summer detailing her “deepest heartbreaks” and “painful secrets”, we couldn’t not include this Olympic Gold Medalist to our list. “Survivor” is definitely one word that comes to mind if you are familiar with Mrs. Ross. She has battled Behcet’s disease, a rare and incurable immune system deficiency since 2007 and still continued to be a force to be reckoned with on the track. After coming back from a leg injury in 2010 and scoring gold in the 4×400 meter relay and bronze in the 400 meter at Beijing in 2008, and brought home the gold in the 2012 Summer Olympics as well.
Her accomplishments are never ending and we aren’t the only folks that know this. Her partnerships and endorsements with Nike, BMW, and Citibank to name a few have given her the platform to continue to inspire despite her retirement. Now her focus is to empower women and encourage the next generation of athletes to be the best version of themselves without succumbing to the pressures of self-doubt that can often be brought on by society.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in the long list of phenomenal black women athletes and we wish we could shine a light on all of those that inspire us. Who did we miss that you would have liked to see?
Brit & Chan "Fit Chicks"