But that’s okay… because what inspires me about the Coco Gauff phenomenon is not that I can be like her, but that she is already in so many ways just like me. A Black Girl who flips out when Jaden Smith @’s her on Twitter. A girl of color who knows that comments like “Bro I wanna play like you” on your Instagram story are the highest form of social media praise possible.
Coco Gauff is an inspiration because she’s showing the world the same thing I would show if everyone suddenly cared about how good me and my friends are at braiding hair. That we’re Black. And we’re real. And given the same opportunity and resources, we can do absolutely anything.
That’s why on this day when the fuzzy ball Coco hits happened not to go over the net as many times as she hoped for, I’m calling on all Black, Brown, and students of color across the United States to make college access their own personal tennis ball… and to do everything they can in school to train for a Bachelor’s Degree.
From getting good grades, to taking rigorous AP and Honors classes, to studying for the ACT and SAT, the more we can be like Coco and get up out the hood where others can see us, the more we can inspire youth in our communities of origin to do the same.
It is for that reason that Coco is a phenomenon. Because you see her as we do. As a Black Girl.