All Articles Tagged "Gabby Douglas"

ICYMI: Check Out “The Gabby Douglas Story” Trailer

January 28th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
Ivan Nikolov/

Ivan Nikolov/

If you spent part or a majority of your weekend watching Lifetime movies then you’ve probably seen the trailer the network released for their upcoming weekend movie,  “The Gabby Douglas Story.” But, if you a.) don’t have cable, b.) don’t watch Lifetime because it sucks you in and steals your Saturday or c.) your tv was stolen like mine was, (another story for another day), then you might have missed the trailer. And  you don’t deserve that, so we’re making sure you get a chance to watch it here.

We’ve known this movie was coming to the small screen since the fall, and have kept you updated with casting news. But in case you need a refresher, Regina King will be playing Gabby’s mother, S. Epatha Merkerson will play her grandmother and Imani Hakim, (Tonya from “Everybody Hates Chris”) will play the role of the teenage Douglas. And apparently, judging from the trailer Douglas herself will make an appearance.

This is already pulling at my heartstrings. So excited.

Check out the trailer in the video below.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

“The Gabby Douglas Story” will air on Lifetime, Saturday, February 1 at 8/7c.

Lifetime To Kick Off Black History Month With ‘The Gabby Douglas Story’

January 8th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
Share to Twitter Email This
Gabby Douglas

Source: WENN

Over the summer we told you that a movie about the life of Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas was in the works. Since our initial report, there have been many new wonderful revelations, including the fact that women’s television network Lifetime has agreed to pick up the biopic.

In case you missed it, “Everybody Hates Chris” star Imani Hakim has been cast to play Douglas in the film. The film’s cast also includes Regina King, Epatha Merkerson, and Sidney Mikayla. As previously reported, “The Gabby Douglas Story” will share the inspiring tale of the teen Olympian’s journey to becoming the first African American to be named individual All-Around Champion in the Olympics.

“‘The Gabby Douglas Story’ tells the inspiring true story of the international gymnastics phenomenon who overcame overwhelming odds to become the first African-American ever to be named Individual All-Around Champion in artistic gymnastics at the Olympic Games,” reads the film’s press release.

Lifetime will be kicking off Black History Month by airing “The Gabby Douglas Story” on Feb. 1. According to Shadow and Act, the network will also be airing the television adaptation of “A Trip to Bountiful” on Feb. 22. We’ll definitely be tuning in. Will you?


Guess Who’s Playing The Lead In The Gabby Douglas Biopic?

December 30th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

gabby douglas biopic

This past fall, we told you that Lifetime had approved the making of the Gabby Douglas biopic. As much as the nation, and particularly black women love Gabby Douglas, it’s important that the casting for this film be perfect. And from the looks of things, Lifetime might be on the right track.

Imani Hakim, best known for her role as Tonya Rock in the series “Everybody Hates Chris” will play the part of a the teenage Douglas in “The Gabby Douglas Story” (a working title). As you might assume, the movie will tell the inspiring story of Douglas overcoming obstacles to become the first African American to be named individual All-round Champion in artistic gymnastics at the Olympics.

Sydney Mikayla (“Little in Common” and “Beautiful Soul”) will play Douglas as a young girl and rounding out the cast will be Regina King as Douglas’ mother and S. Epatha Merkerson as her grandmother.

“The Gabby Douglas Story” is set to air on Lifetime in February 2014.

With names like this attached to this project, I’m sure this movie will be one to watch. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as details surface.

Will you tune in?

Happy, Black Girl News: Lifetime Says Yes To Gabby Douglas Biopic

September 16th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
Share to Twitter Email This



It’s a go! Lifetime, who has debuted more original movies of black people recently than black television networks will be  releasing a biopic of two-time Olympic gold medalist winner, Gabby Douglas.

The movie will unfold the life of Gabby as a child , where she began to formally train as a gymnast at the age of 6 years old. Actress Sydney Mikayla will be Douglass as a child and Imani Hakim will act as teenage Gabby who eventually becomes a member of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team during the 2012 Summer Olympics. It was during the Summer Olympics, Gabby won both gold medals in the individual and team competitions.

Regina King is set to star in the biopic as Gabby’s mother and S. Epatha Merkerson will act as her grandmother, as well.

The film will be produced by Sony Pictures TV and its director will be Gregg Champion who directed Lifetime’s “Amish Grace”. No date has been mentioned for the  film release  but fans should expect to view it in 2014.

Are you excited to learn more about the Olympic winner ?

A Gabrielle Douglas Movie? Yes Please! New TV Movie In The Works

August 16th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
gabrielle douglas movie

Source: WENN


Looks like the Gabrielle Douglas movie  is coming to a television screen near you. Many of us watched in a combination of glee and pride as Gabby tumbled her way into the history books becoming the first African American gymnast to win an individual all-around Olympic gold medal. And now, according to The YBF, producers are bringing her inspiring story to the screen as a tv movie.

You may remember that Gabby’s life has not always been easy. Being raised by a single mother, Gabby chose to live with a new family in order to continue her training. It all paid off as the then 16 year old was catapulted into stardom, complete with cereal box covers, a book she authored, numerous media appearances and now a tv movie.

The movie, tentatively called “The Gabby Douglas Story” is set to start shooting September 9 through October in Winnipeg, Canada. It will be produced by Zev Braun, Phillip Krupp, David Rosemont. Gregg Champion will direct and Tracy Twinkie Byrd, the woman who cast films like Stomp The Yard, Notorious, Jumping The Broom, Sparkle and Fruitvale Station will serve as the project’s casting director.

Sounds promising! Who should play the role of Gabrielle?

Madison Avenue Targets Blacks: Gabby Douglas And Mae Jemison Tapped For Major Campaigns

April 29th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
Share to Twitter Email This


Are things changing in the advertising world? Just last year many complained of the lack of advertising targeting the African-American community. Now comes news that two new major campaigns have hired black women as spokespeople, reports Target Market News.

Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas has been tapped by McDonald’s to promote its newest menu addition — the egg-white breakfast sandwich, an addition that aims to counter some of the healthy eating complaints the company has come up against. Rather than being featured in ads, Douglas will promote the new breakfast item at the restaurant chain’s events. (Total aside, Gabby’s on TODAY this morning talking about her new book and getting back to the gym.)

By utilizing Douglas, McDonald’s also hopes to increase spending by blacks at the chain. According to The Buying Power of Black America, of the $22.4 billion all black households spent eating out in 2011, more than 11% ($2.6 billion) was spent on breakfast meals. This was an increase of 9% from 2010.

Photo: Denver Louis

Photo: Denver Louis

And home furnishings giant Simmons Bedding Company has hired Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut, to be part of a major forthcoming ad campaign. We recently spoke with Jemison at SXSW about leading the 100 Year Starship project , which will focus on sending and sustaining humans in interstellar space travel within the next 100 years.

Jemison may seem like an odd choice for a mattress company, but the campaign will mark the first national television advertising endeavor for a line of bedding, the Comforpedic line from Beautyrest, a “memory foam” bed for “those in the know,” Target Market News says.

According to Target Market News, it is a smart move for the company to use Jemison. Once again quoting the Buying Power of Black America report, black homes spent $4.6 billion on furniture in 2011, with $846 million spent on mattresses and box springs.

Popularity And “Pretty” Contest: How Does Olympic Boxer Claressa Shields Win Gold But Not Receive One Endorsement?

April 1st, 2013 - By Charing Ball
Share to Twitter Email This
Derrick Salters/

Derrick Salters/


In her eight-year boxing career, Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields has never lost a single match and yet she still gets no respect. From Mother Jones:

Maybe you remember Claressa “T-Rex” Shields: At 17, she was the youngest boxer in last summer’s Olympics, the first games to ever let women spar. Aggressive, spunky, and intensely focused, she trounced a Russian opponent twice her age in the finals to return home to Flint, Michigan, with a gold medal. “I wrapped it around my hand when I went to sleep,” Shields says. “I had this fear that when I woke up the medal was going to be silver.” Yet unlike fellow gold medalist Gabby Douglas, the teen gymnast who is expected to rake in $8-$12 million from sponsorships, Shields has received no national endorsement deals (though a local car lot gave her a custom black and gold Camaro). “I think because women’s boxing is new, I guess,” she says. “I don’t really know.”

If you have missed seeing Shields fight at the Olympics – or anywhere else for that matter- please stop reading right now and go search YouTube for some of her previous performances. The girl is phenomenal. And no shade to Gabby Douglas, but while we were, and still continue to, celebrate one little black girl’s historic achievements in one sport, we totally forgot about another black teen girl, about the same age as Douglas, who too made history at the Olympics. Not only is she the first African-American woman to win gold in boxing, but the first woman, period. Like Douglas, she too has an equally compelling story about adversity and triumph, including being both a black youth from inner city Detroit and a survivor of sexual assault. But yet and still you tell me that Shields has not been asked to cover one Wheaties box? Not to sound like an alarmist, but I really do believe that it is a national embarrassment that this young gladiator, who has worked hard, and with success, in service of our country is not reaping the financial benefits.

As Shields humbly said in the Mother Jones article, women’s Olympic boxing is pretty new, which might explain her lack of endorsements, however, but at least one boxer has managed to capture the attention of corporate America. Fellow women’s boxer and 2016 Olympic hopeful Mikaela Mayer recently became Dr. Pepper’s official spokesperson. In the soft drink’s television commercial, Mayer, who prior to boxing used to work as a full-time model says, “Millions of girls are told they’re pretty, but not many end up becoming a model. And even fewer decide to put their face in front of someone who wants to rearrange it. And now, instead of fighting for a cover shot, I’m Mikaela Mayer and I’m one of a kind.” Indeed, Mayer is one of a kind. Not only is she a beautiful former model but she is also a serious contender in the women’s boxing world. According to Team, Mayer has a laundry list of boxing achievements including being the 2011 National Golden Gloves Champion, being a gold medalist at the 2012 AMBC Continental Championships, and holding a bronze medal at the 2012 AIBA World Championships.

But despite the impressive resume and pretty much being favored to win a spot on the US Women’s boxing team, her bronze medal at the 2012 AIBA ended her bid to compete in the first Olympic boxing competition for women. Guess who did make the squad in 2012? Shields. And she won a gold medal. According to the Mother Jones article, Shield is currently training for not only the USA Boxing National Championship but the Rio Olympics in 2016, where she will be defending her current world title. She is also preparing for college. To borrow words from Mayer and Dr. Pepper, I definitely think that makes Shields “one of a kind.” But to simply bypass the first champion of an inaugural Olympic sport in favor of another athlete, who while accomplished, has not proven herself at the level of Shields, is bewildering to me. I mean, would you do a television commercial with the runner up of the Miss America beauty pageant? I think not.

We’ve seen this scenario played out many times before in women’s sports. If you’ll recall, during the 2012 Olympic games, Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells, silver and bronze medalists spoke openly about having their stories trampled over while the media hype machine favored Lolo Jones, who only placed fourth at the Olympic hurdles race. In an interview with NBC Sports, Harper said this of the virgin/model/sprinter:

“I feel I had a pretty good story — knee surgery two months before Olympic trials in 2008, to make the team but 0.007, not have a contract … working three jobs, living in a frat house, trying to make it work. Coming off running in someone else’s shoes getting the gold medal. Uhhh, I’d say I was pretty interesting. Coming from East St. Louis…I just felt as if I worked really hard to represent my country in the best way possible, and to come way with the gold medal, and to honestly seem as if, because their favorite didn’t win all of sudden it’s just like, ‘Were going to push your story aside, and still gonna push this one.’ That hurt. It did. It hurt my feelings. But I feel as if I showed I can deal with the pressure, I came back, and I think you kinda got to respect it a little bit now.”

Harper and Wells thought their medals would earn them respect, but instead they were labeled and dismissed as haters. And that’s a pity considering that they had a legitimate point: It takes a considerable amount of dedication and sacrifice in order to rise to the level of Olympic athlete. Harper was not lying when she said she lived in a frat house – it was the only thing that she and her husband, who too is an Olympic athlete, could afford while training full-time for the 2008 games in which she won her gold medal in the 100-meter hurdles. So I can imagine that for athletes like Harper, who have reached the highest degree, an Olympic gold should warrant a few chances to recuperate, if not profit, off of all the time, energy, physical health and personal money you put into this mission. From a personal perspective, I can’t imagine slaving away on a project at work and have my supervisor come along and give accolades to another employee, who didn’t carry the project to fruition, all because my boss likes him/her better.

It is kind of depressing that even in the world of women’s sports – a place that implies some sort of exclusion from sexist influence – standard troupes of femininity, over skill and accomplishments, still matter in what is marketable. Not only are athletes like Shields, Harper and Wells being shut out of opportunities to capitalize off of their hardwork, but athletes like Mayer, Jones and in some respects, Gabby Douglas are being paraded around by both the media and corporate advertising as some sort of poster children for what a female athlete is supposed to look like. And that suggests to me that the general public still can not fully take women in sports seriously. I mean, how can we celebrate these women for breaking barriers and making history in the world of sports while using the other hand to reinforce subtle messages that your personal appeal, more than likely physical, will always trump your talent?

Take Two: Teen Olympic Gold Medalist Gabrielle Douglas To Release Second Memoir

March 15th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
Share to Twitter Email This
Anton Oparin /

Anton Oparin /

Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas isn’t taking any time off. She has been on a hectic schedule since the Olympic Games in 2012. Besides all the interviews she published her memoirs. Now she has announced she is set to publish a second memoir—yes, part two.

Though not yet 18, she still has lots to talk about it seems, and her second memoir will hit the stores next month, according to publisher Zondervan (via Yahoo).

The 17-year-old, who was a gold medalist in both the team and individual all-around gymnastics competitions, will publish Raising the Bar, the follow-up to her 2012 best-selling memoir Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith, on April 30. That book debuted at number four on The New York Times Young Adult Bestseller List.

This time around, she is taking readers behind-the-scenes look into her life, including color photos, personal stories, and details on the athlete’s present-day life — from walking red carpets and appearing on TV shows such as The Vampire Diaries while also juggling friends, family, and training.

Obviously, it’s not the life of the typical teen. But it will give some insight, says the publisher, into the dedication and responsibilities of an athlete of Douglas’s caliber. Douglas was recently named Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.

Douglas began training at age six and made history last year when she became the first U.S. gymnast to take home a team and an individual gold medal in the same games. And she was first African-American to win the individual gold.

MN Daily Salute: Black Female Athletes

February 18th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
Share to Twitter Email This

In honor of Black History Month, MadameNoire is sending a daily salute to the African American women who inspire us every day of the year. Today we’re recognizing the black women athletes who make us proud everywhere from the tennis courts to the track, the balance beams, and the swimming pool.

"Venus Williams PF"

Source: WENN

Venus and Serena Williams

Venus and Serena Williams took the tennis world by storm when the two brown girls from Compton with braid and beads showed up on the courts and dominated their opponents. Venus has been ranked World No. 1 in singles by the Women’s Tennis Association on three separate occasions, and when she was named so in 2002 for the first time, she became the first African American woman to achieve be given then title during the Open Era. Venus is also a four-time Olympic gold medalist and as of February 2013, is ranked number 22 in the world in singles.

Like her big sister, Serena has also ranked up a number of World No. 1 rankings — five to be exact since July 2002.  Serena is the only female player to have won over $40 million in prize money and she is regardedas one of the greatest tennis players of all time, having won 30 Grand Slam  titles and four Olympic Gold medals.

What Makes One Person A Part Of Black History And Not Another?

February 14th, 2013 - By Toya Sharee
Share to Twitter Email This


Source: Witches' Brew

Source: Witches’ Brew


The morning following last month’s presidential inauguration, you may have scrolled through your Facebook feed only to find the above collage with a caption that read, “Based solely on historical contributions, should Jay and Bey be in this collage?”  Call me a progressive-thinker, or maybe it’s because I spend a majority of my days with teens who have to explain to me what words like “trappin’” and “ratchet” mean, but I found myself wondering, “Why wouldn’t they be?” Meanwhile, co-workers and Facebookers truly surprised me with responses like, “They haven’t broken any racial barriers or anything,” and “Beyoncé and Barack don’t even belong in the same category.”

I beg to differ.  And the question then becomes, what does it take to be considered “black history”? The significant contributions of those that today’s youth identify with may not be sit-ins for social change or marches breaking racial barriers, but does that make them any less a part of our culture? Yesterday’s Jackie Robinsons are today’s Jay-Zs in their eyes.  When you think of black history, American entertainers and famous figures of today could be considered the black history of this generation’s tomorrow. If this is a collage about social change and politics, then maybe Bey and Jay should have a seat. But if we want to talk about African Americans who have made significant contributions to our culture, yes, they are in the same category as our POTUS and FLOTUS. They’ve built brands and businesses and broken records. Barack, Beyoncé and Booker T. Washington have more in common than you think: they’ve all made history and opened many a door.

Just hear me out.  I definitely agree our generation is plagued by a frightening disconnect between sacrifices of yesterday’s leaders that are responsible for so many of the opportunities we often take for granted today.  One of the reasons why I fell in love with President Obama’s message and mission is because I feel like he truly understands what so many of us fail to grasp:  In order to make our youth understand and value the opportunities that have been presented to them, we have to meet them where they are at. How can we expect young people to truly appreciate their history and culture if we fail to acknowledge the idols who have made history during their lifetimes?  President Obama got it right when he invited Jay-Z to do a voice over for his campaign ads.  One of the reasons why his election was so greatly affected by the high number of young voters was because he understood that they would never hear his message for change if they felt he was someone who couldn’t understand their voice as well.

Let’s be honest, when black history month rolled around, for 28 days throughout our childhoods we saw the same names in rotation: Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and George Washington Carver, aka, “The Peanut Guy.”  And while I could appreciate the paths they had paved, a part of me couldn’t truly identify with their struggle.  “You have to know where you came from to know where you’re going,” sounded profound and all, but it’s only as an adult that I’m starting to realize how heavily our present successes rest on the shoulders of our history. When I was in ninth grade, all I cared about was making sure my Timberland sign showed on my boots.  I cared more about what I was wearing to school as opposed to the fact the ancestors lost their lives so that I could even attend.  When trying to relate anything to our young people from black history to birth control, you have to speak in their language and become familiar with what is important to them before you can attempt to teach what SHOULD be important to them. Acknowledging the contributions to our culture that today’s leaders in entertainment, politics and sports bring to the table doesn’t diminish or throw shade on the foundation that was built from those who fought and died for the belief in something better.  We have to do more than throw on the Roots anthology and repeat, “People have died for the rights you take for granted.”  We have to find a way to make it relate to the things they are going through today.

Closing that gap requires us to challenge our stagnant way of thinking that says that black history is something that began and ended and acknowledge it as an ongoing process that only continues to grow greater. And as with any culture, that means accepting it in its totality and not just picking the parts we’re personally proud of. What we shouldn’t do is make black history some outdated, pretentious social club that those born before 1960 have the monopoly on and act as though black history isn’t accepting any new members.

Before talking about how Sidney Poitier was the first African American to win an Academy award, try mentioning the fact that Tyler Perry is the first African American ever to launch his own major TV and film studio. Can we show the same love that we showed Jackie Joyner Kersee and Wilma Rudolph, to Serena Williams and Gabby Douglas?  Maybe, just maybe, our kids will talk about Alicia Keys like we once talked about Aretha Franklin. And before catching feelings over the bible Barack Obama is using, take a few minutes to consider the fact that we have lived to see our first black president. There’s surely enough pride to go around.  The fact that our leaders of yesterday have leaders of today to help bear the burden of uplifting our culture is not a threat but a credit to all of their sacrifices.  And although we may not want our kids breaking out at the black history recital with a rendition of “Single Ladies,” it’s as much a part of our culture as “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Like it or not.

How do you define black history?

Toya Sharee is a community health   educator  and   parenting education coordinator who has a  passion  for helping  young women  build  their self-esteem  and make  well-informed choices  about their sexual  health.  She  also  advocates for women’s  reproductive rights and blogs  about  everything  from  beauty to love  and relationships.  Follow her on Twitter   @TheTrueTSharee or visit  her  blog Bullets  and   Blessings .