By Yoli Ouiya
Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks were certainly not prepared for the spark they were about to ignite. In 2009, the innovative duo started Black Girls Run! as a means of documenting and creating support for their own running experiences. Little did they know, this personal journey would erupt into a national movement comprised of black women inspired to run. Carey, an entrepreneur and public relations specialist, and Hicks, a marketing professional, power an all-runners-everything site, which features product reviews, running group meet-up locations, and runner spotlights. With over 30,000 “likes” on Facebook, more than 9,000 followers on Twitter, and 67 BGR running groups across the country, black girls are revolutionizing their fitness regimens at a time when the obesity epidemic is threatening communities of color at a significantly higher rate than their white counterparts.
Nearly four out of five African-American women are overweight or obese, according to the Office of Minority Health. Black Girls Run! was created to lower that rate, and subsequently decrease the number of women with chronic diseases associated with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. BlackEnterprise.com caught up with the BGR founders at the 5th annual Blogging While Brown conference, held June 1-2 in Philadelphia, PA, to discuss their over 25,000 women movement.
How did Black Girls Run! get started?
Hicks: It was just something that kind of came together through a couple of conversations that we were having about our experiences running. We were just like, ‘Hey, this is something, we should blog about it.’ And that was it.
Carey: One of the things that sparked this whole conversation was when I first started running, I called my mom and said, ‘Hey, I want to start running. I got these shoes, they are dope,’ and she says, ‘Black girls don’t run.’ Just like that. ‘It’s something white people do.’ ‘Really, mom? That’s racist,’ was my response. She would say things like ‘your uterus is going to fall out,’ which is a myth, and that was why women couldn’t run marathons until the ‘60s. That all led to the creation of Black Girls Run!
Get the rest of their story at BlackEnterprise.com.
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