Source: YouTube

If you never understood the importance of representation, watching the LSU Tigers take home the NCAA Championship should have changed your mind. Angel Reese, one of the stars on LSU’s women’s basketball team, is known for her athletic abilities and stunning goods looks and is affectionately called the “Bayou Barbie”. She has been in the headlines all year, enduring critiques and criticisms about her sportsmanship and other characteristics. After winning the championship game, Angel Reese addressed the reporters, and I don’t think they were prepared for the Barbie.

During a press conference after the championship game, Reese told reporters, ” I’m too hood! I’m too ghetto! You’ve been telling me that all year. But when other people do it, you don’t say nothing! So, this is for the girls who look like me, that’s going to speak up for what they believe in. It’s unapologetically you and that’s what I did it for. It was bigger than me tonight!” . She is probably  referencing a hand gesture that Dana Clark, a white opponent,  did during the championship game. It wasn’t mentioned in a negative light, however after winning the championship game, Reese duplicated the hand gesture and was heavily criticized on Twitter and social media for being classless.
Of course this flew over the majority of mainstream America’s head, but the culture praised Reese for understanding the assignment. Not only did she help her team win by being the better opponent, she seized the moment and called out the obvious to the conveniently blind; blacks get judged and treated differently in the exact same situations. We’ve watched our black athletes get called racial slurs for simply participating in a sport and witnessed unfair calls by referees against them, so this was just another example of an injustice served to one of our champions.

Personally, I’m glad that Reese took the moment, while the world was watching to call “a spade a spade” as my mother would once say. She could have easily reveled in the moment of being a winner and not addressed the crowd of haters, but instead, she embraced being a champion and used her platform to educate the masses. You can keep the plastic Barbie that the mainstream adores, I’ll take the Bayou Barbie over her any day!