Black History Month: 2/12-16


#BlackHistoryMonth @ushersnewlook It wasn’t until 2002 that an African American won a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. Bobsledder VONETTA FLOWERS became the first black person to win a gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Her track coach from when she was 9 years old was at the finish line – clearly Vonetta had found her spark early in life and nurtured it. @ushersnewlook we help kids find their spark and make dreams come true.

Flowers was a star track and field athlete and exceptional basketball player in high school. She was the first in her family to go to college. She enrolled at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, with a track and field scholarship. Her success on the field continued where she got seven All-American nods and six conference MVP honors. In 1997, she graduated with a degree in physical education.

In 1996, Flowers competed in the 100-meter dash and long jump, but came up short in the Olympic trials. Four years later she again failed to secure a spot on the U.S. track and field long jump team. Soon after, Flowers retired from the sport.

Shortly after the trials, her husband shared with her that there was a push to introduce track and field athletes to bobsledding. It had been nearly 50 years since an American team had won a single medal in the sport.

Flowers was interested and received a crash course in bobsledding. Although she had just two weeks of training in pushing a sled, Flowers and teammate Bonny Warner set a world start record in October 2000 at Park City, Utah, home of the 2002 Winter Games. Other victories quickly followed, including a gold-medal performance at the World Cup.

At the 2002 Winter Games, Flowers and teammate Jill Bakken won gold in the women’s event with an upset victory. The win made Flowers the first black person to ever win gold at the Winter Olympics.


It’s easy to look @SIMONEBILES and not see the struggle and hard work. She epitomizes grace. In a recent CNN interview, Simone said, “People love to ask: ‘What’s your secret?’ Sometimes they want to know how I defy gravity on the mat. Other times they want to know how I went from foster care to the Olympics.” Her answer to both is the same, “a mix of talent, hard work and grabbing the right opportunity when given the chance. When I was far too young to know it, others around me saw that I had a gift for gymnastics. Without their encouragement and support, I would have never been a gymnast.” @ushersnewlook, we help kids find their spark and give them the encouragement and support to nurture it. Check out Simone’s story on lifetime movies – for more visit


#BlackHistoryMonth is not just about people who made history long ago – it’s also about people who are making history now – through their accomplishments and by inspiring others. Today we hear from Shanice Andall, a Mogul in Training @UshersNewLook NY.

JUSTINE SKYE is inspirational to me because she embodies everything It means to be true to your roots. She has not faltered from who she was before the fame and that’s something I know takes a lot of strength. She is confident in her culture and that’s something I can relate to being how we are both from the Caribbean. No matter how deep into the industry she gets, she doesn’t forget where she came from and that’s something a lot of people can learn from. Attention tends to change people, she’s taught me you always need to remember who you were before It. Justine has inspired me to never second guess the things that make me happy. She was my inspiration to start singing and now that is one of my sparks, she’s inspired me to be confident in my style and also to try new things and that’s influenced the way I conduct myself as a person today. Learn more about Justine at


While ballet is not an Olympic sport, it certainly requires amazing athleticism. @UshersNewLook we continue to celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth by highlighting those who inspire. Today we look at MISTY COPELAND @mistyonpointe is the first African American female principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. When she discovered ballet, however, she was living in a shabby motel room struggling with her five siblings for a place to sleep on the floor. @UshersNewLook we help kids who may also have a rocky start find their spark and we help nurture those dreams. Learn more about Misty at


THE BLACK PANTHER Today we look at what may be history in the making. Marvel’s @theblackpanther ‏premiers today. It may be the first mega-budget movie with starring an almost entirely black cast led by an African America director.