Real Life Heroines Series: Hero or Hoax?

Simone Biles: Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast




So as it goes, if you are darn near perfect at any one thing, let alone everything, people will eventually come for your funk. Such is the case with Simone Biles, soaring off a fantastic 2016 Olympic Season in Rio to participate on Dancing With the Stars.  Cue Kanye’s: “Stronger”.

Yeah, so she did the show a solid. What did it do for her?

After weeks of cruising atop the DWTS scoreboard, Simone Biles was eliminated on Monday night just short of the finals round. Despite receiving a perfect 40 score that evening, many continued to focus on a prior incident having nailed Simone’s coffin.  Right before the semi-finals, host Tom Bergeron commented his surprise that Biles did not smile during the judge’s compliments. Biles boldly retorted, “smiling doesn’t win you gold medals”.

Really there was nothing wrong with what Biles said except in was spoken assertively and with merit. If there is one thing the collective conscious does not like, it is when a woman like Simone Biles speaks with confidence about something she can back up. You see, people who make comments like Bergeron’s believe that people like Biles are lucky to accomplish things, any…things. They believe with luck (not hard work) there should come a certain amount of humility, especially if one is woman, black, a woman who is black and Simone Biles.

In Bergeron’s defense, he apologized via social media shortly thereafter. However, Bergeron’s comment put Biles in a snafu, making it difficult for her to maintain the effervescent personality that has steadily aided in the propping up of her reputation.  Furthermore, Biles’s persona has been unfairly compared to Gabby Douglas, the first female black gymnast to win Olympic all-around gold in 2012. In Rio, Douglas seemed to suffer in maintaining her momentum, finishing superbly beneath her teammates at the end of the games with what was considered a sullen disposition. She was expected to exude a cheery approach to difficulty, like Simone Biles did during the Olympic Games.

The question begs; was the bubbly attitude Biles maintained during her gymnastic career, fake?

I think not. After DWTS elimination, Biles was briefly interviewed by ABC about her disappointing loss. Biles made it clear that her time on the competitive dance show resulted in a growth experience. The four-time Olympic gold-medalist says she was able to find out “who Simone really is” outside of gymnastics. I love it!

While Biles clearly displayed a little ‘tude in her response to such a nonsensical remark, it was clear that she was promoting a winner’s attitude all the same. It takes bravery and grit to turn an L into a life lesson.

Therefore, I say today, yesterday and most likely forever, Simone Biles will continue to display an indomitable spirit, thus rendering her a heroine in her own right.





photo: NBC Olympics

post: Nat P. for The Journeyed Heroine


American Gods


American Gods: Once a stand alone book; now a television series scheduled to debut tonight on STARZ.

Guess who is doing a mad dash to finish the book before the first espisode? *slowly raises hands*

I just met Bilquis. Yes, I am only about 95 pages into the 10th anniversary edition. This is a fat book that has several thousand more words than the original. I never said my goal was realistic. I simply said I was out here doing it.

Right now we have no idea who Bilquis is but upon introduction this is a hot chick with some odd proclivities.

Screenshot_2017-04-30-20-45-34-1More on the show and the book later.

Samira Wiley stars in ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ on Hulu

samira-handmaids tale found on cosmopolitan 4-26-2017

On Wednesday April 26, 2017, Hulu released the first three episodes of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ adapted from Margaret Atwood’s Nebula nominated dystopian novel of the same title. Since Hulu began releasing promotional clips surrounding the show’s debut, it was revealed that Samira Wiley (Orange is the New Black) would appear as main cast.

I immediately assumed Wiley would play the Martha, Rita, who was described as a person of color in the book. After viewing the first episode, I was delighted to discover Wiley has been cast as


Moira, the protagonist Offred’s (Elisabeth Moss) best friend from college, was a refreshing diversion from the main story line in the books. It makes sense that Wiley was not Rita, because of age difference and the red-colored dress Wiley wore in the promos. Martha’s wear green. It will be interesting to see where Moira’s arc lands considering the conclusion given for the character in the book is dissimilar to the one in the premiere episode entitled “Offred”.

Hulu ordered 10 episodes of the eerie yet relevant book-to-show. The first 3 were made available this week. Subsequently, each new episode will arrive on Wednesdays until the catalog is sufficed.

There is only one question left to ask. At this point in history, can we truly consider Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ fantasy or fiction?

Nat P. for The Journeyed Heroine

Spotlight- August ’16

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Asleep by Wendy Raven McNair

A few years ago, I discovered a book about a young African-American who was in love with superheroes and also unable to dream while asleep.  That tag line alone was enough to pull me in. I am glad I did, because Asleep was uber blerdy before the term became popular.

Adisa, the female protagonist, is funny, determined and stubborn in her own right. She is a lovely girl who is committed to school and is learning how to dance. She also has a crush on a weird guy who for unknown reason seems hell bent on protecting her. However, Adisa is no damsel in distress. She has her own strengths that make this magical duo entertaining.

If you are looking for a new (but not so new- published in 2009 ) fantasy read, with a young female lead, diverse set of characters and some interesting mythology, please check out ‘Asleep’. It is the first book of the trilogy. The second book, ‘Awake’ is also available now. Just a heads up, the long awaited third novel, ‘Ascend’, has not been released yet. There does not seem to be a date on the calendar, either. If you can take the suspense, dive in. I can assure doing so is worth it.

For more details about McNair’s works, visit her author’s page at

Happy Reading!

Nat P. for The Journeyed Heroine