African American History · florida

so proud of my cousin Gayle

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I just learned via a Facebook post that my late cousin Gayle Andrews Gay, the first African American cheerleader at Florida State University, is being honored by the Coconut Grove Sports Hall of Fame. Coconut Grove is the Miami community in which we were initially raised. It was partly settled by Bahamians and southern blacks from whom we descend. I am so proud of my cousin. I learned via her daughter Adrienne that her mother took a risk while being a cheerleader. She wanted to do more than dance and was penalized. She wanted to be more than a token. Rest in peace, dear Cousin. And thanks for always having a bedroom for me when I visited the archive in Frankfort, Kentucky. You always had a smile and the warmest heart, too. The last time I saw you was at my father’s funeral in 2012. You passed away not long after that. Your strength and spirit inspire me.

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