Rising R&B singer Rayana Jay pays tribute to Black female athletes, from Althea Gibson to Serena Williams and beyond, via her new song, "Undefeated." Disney Music Group and The Undefeated released the #BlackGirlMagic-affirming track and its equally jubilant music video today (July 27).
The song’s lyrics celebrate these women and girls’ resilience in the face of racism and sexism:
You say I’m not good, you say I’m too bold, I’m coming off strong
rnttYou say I’m too this, you say I’m too that, well that’s too bad
rntt’Cause it ain’t a secret, that’s how we treat it, I still believe it, I’m undefeated!
The video expands on this theme, featuring Jay singing and dancing alongside members of the girls’ track and field team from Paul Robeson Campus High School in Brooklyn. Images of Gibson, Williams, Gabby Douglas, Florence Joyner and other trailblazing Black female sports stars—several of whom Jay recognizes in the lyrics—appear throughout the video.
A statement from ESPN, The Undefeated’s parent company, notes that the song is an extension of site’s collaboration with the historically Black Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism and Communication. The partners recently published "Beating Opponents, Battling Belittlement: How African-American Female Athletes Use Community to Navigate Negative Images," which investigates how intersecting oppressions attempt to hamper athletes’ success—and how they fight back.