black women

Go Sista! Ballerina Sets Record as the First Black Female Soloist at the American Ballet Theatre

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By Staff Blogger

Almost every day, there is a story that perpetuates and reinforces negative stereotypes and ideas about Black women. Many young girls are exposed to these images and they become so normative that these young ladies emulate what they see.  Whether it is reality TV shows or music videos, positive images of Black women in popular culture are hard to find. The reality is that there is no such thing as a monolithic Black woman and Misty Copeland is proof of that.

Misty Copeland is a young woman who is defying stereotypes and taking the ballet industry by storm. The beautiful and graceful Black ballerina is also making history. At the age of  30, Misty Copeland is the first black female in over 20 years to be a soloist at the American Ballet Theatre. Her journey is an inspirational one that emphasizes her tenacity and her unwillingness to give up and quit.

Misty was raised poor in California. One of five siblings, she spent part of her youth living in a motel room. She recounts days being both hungry and afraid. She often spent hours just getting to and from her school.

At the age of 13, she was discovered by a ballet instructor at the Boys and Girls Club in San Pedro, California.  Not only was she discovered in an unlikely place, but by dance standards, she was relatively old.

Interviewed by the New York Post, she explains, “I  had no introduction to the arts in any way — definitely not the fine arts,” she says. “Survival was our Number 1 priority, not extracurriculars, or a career. These were not things we thought about.”

Today, she is an agent of change. She advocates so that other African-American  girls can be  introduced to a field that is traditionally dominated by whites.

She continued by asserting, “For young African-Americans to feel that they have a chance to see a brown face on the stage, that ballet isn’t this white world that’s untouchable to them — I think having that visual does so much,” she says. “I think it’s so important for them to see me and to hear me.”

We congratulate Misty Copeland on her accomplishments and fortitude. Hopefully young girls everywhere will be inspired.

223 Comments

  1. Old Lady Dem

    August 16, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Such a beautiful story such a beautiful dancer. So refreshing, so encouraging.

  2. Laura Margarita Cirino Jimenez

    August 17, 2013 at 10:06 am

    OUTSTANDING! I’m so very proud of her for overcoming the odds and making something of herself. It takes hard work and determination not to mention years of practice & injuries to get to where she’s at. I hope with all of my heart that she has many successful years, many awards, and a wonderful life.

  3. Dr. Vernon, Sr

    August 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Ladies and Gentlemen, whatever race you may be, it is logically sound and perfectly fitting to help in the proclamation of praises for this young woman. She has attained the highest level in this art on her own. Being discovered at the age of 13 without any formal training is an accomplishment. Whomever one may be, one should see her as an astonishingly stunning, and excuisite individual. Let’s afford her our astounding adorations of bountiful success.

  4. Lizzy

    August 17, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Go Misty and show our young women how hard work and dedication can help you achieve anything with God’s help

  5. PB Short

    August 17, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Really?

    Is it that important to be loved by the PERVERTED CATHOLIC?

    I will never in my life read a story that is titled “First Black” or First Black American” or First African American”…

    It goes to show that Black’s love to be a puppet for the perverted catholic…

    We were the first to do everything under the SUN, but yet our accomplishments are not publish…it is only authentic when the perverted catholic say SO!

    America, the land of the living & walking DEAD!

  6. rubyfromnj

    August 17, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Remove the word “journey” in order to make the sentence coherent. You say ” her story is an inspirational ONE,” yet you have “journey” in there, too.

  7. Mikal-Ace Ngubani

    August 17, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    My post, for some strange reason, doesnt list a picture of her. But if Im not mistaken, I believe she’s can still be seen as one of the aspiree’s who are profiled on Magic Johnson’s Aspire TV network. To which, I send the very best of Kudo’s to her for her accomplishment. She said in her Aspire profile that she aspired to do something as magnimonious as this. And it looks as if …she’s succeeded.
    P.S. For those of you who may not be familiar or get a chance to see her image..she’s also very beautiful.

  8. Tyrese

    August 18, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Good for her!!! May the talent shine and she goes forth to inspire many, she beautiful too!
    Would be nice to see the darker complexions of our race more showcased as well as i can’t shake the slave mentality of ‘house negroes” that white America seems to keep. Anyway God bless.

  9. angela wesley

    August 25, 2013 at 6:55 am

    I congratulate her for doing what she loves, it takes hard practice and dedication when you are not thin trust I know.

  10. Art

    August 28, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    BRAVO!!

    Imagine being discovered at the age of 13. How does one comprehend being “discovered” at this age and especially in the field of ballet?

    I am so pleased to read about this remarkable young woman who beat the odds and has become a soloist ballerina in this demanding art field of ballet.

    Congratulation Misty Copeland, I am so proud of you and your accomplishment.

  11. Vanessa Pinkney

    April 30, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Continue to make great strides and continue to show Young Black Girls if you can dream it you can be it never give up,Thank You.

  12. hala duruyonmu sen?

    April 28, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    sikicem seni

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