In #BlackGirlMagic news…
Four terrifically tumbling UCLA gymnasts are covering a magazine that’s celebrating their skillset and viral fame.
Chae Campbell, Nia Dennis, Margzetta Frazier, and Sekai Wright are covering ESSENCE Girls United’s April digital cover. In the cover story “Flipping the Culture”, writer D’Shonda Brown talks to these collegiate superstars who are the embodiment of Black excellence and Black representation in athleticism as they soar to chart-topping scores with cultural playlists, rhythmic floor routines, and Black Lives Matter activism. If these ladies’ names sound familiar it’s because they’ve been burning up social media with their backflips and aerials.
Margzetta made headlines in February by tumbling and voguing to Janet Jackson songs including “Nasty” and “If”, garnering her a score of 9.925 out of 10 and a shoutout from Ms. Jackson herself.
Prior to that, Nia made hearts smile by flipping, stepping, and hitting 8-counts to Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé, Tupac, Missy Elliott, and Megan Thee Stallion during her super fun “Black Excellence” floor routine.
Freshman Chae Campbell recently qualified as an individual in the all-around NCAA championships was named Pac-12 Conference’s Freshman/Newcomer of the Year.
And Sekai Wright who was invited to attend UCLA with a full-ride scholarship did a floor routine tributing Boy Bands like Boyz II Men and *NSYNC.
Check out excerpts from their ESSENCE Girls United cover story below.
Margzetta Frazier, 21: Who else can say they woke up to a nod from their inspiration, Janet Jackson, after using choreography inspired by her hit “If” and “Nasty” music videos? That’s what happened to the three-time uneven bars All-American and 2021 Pac-12 champion after her floor routine went viral.
She states: “Being in a sport like this and seeing women of color rock the world really is a dream come true. Gymnastics has consumed so much of our lives with the concept of flipping and being perfect…But being recognized by ESSENCE for bringing so much more to the table than just athletics truly is an honor…”
Chae Campbell, 19: “Growing up in the sport of gymnastics, I didn’t see a lot of Black people…I was the only one in my group that looked how I looked. Having more representation and seeing people thrive, not just Black gymnasts, but also other races and ethnicities, is really encouraging for the young girls out there…”
Nia Dennis, 22: “My main goal was to inspire people to do what they love and to have fun and be their most authentic self. So if we have done that in any way, then I would definitely say that the goal has been accomplished…”
Sekai Wright, 20: “We do our best to stay positive because we know what we’re representing…As young Black women, it’s so satisfying that we can express and elevate our culture through our gymnastics.”
Congrats to these young Queens!