To kick off the 2023 inaugural season of Intercollegiate Women’s Artistic Gymnastics at Fisk University, a new docuseries highlighting one of the school’s outstanding sports teams has been announced. Today (Jan. 31), it was revealed that the ladies of the famed Nashville, Tennessee HBCU campus will be coming to a screen near you.
“Flipped,” as it is tentatively titled, “will follow college gymnastics’ only all BIPOC team as they navigate the pressures of their first season while challenging the stereotypes and norms in women’s athletics,” according to a press release. Filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper (Olympic Pride, American Prejudice) and Baller Alert Films CEO Robin Lyon have been tapped as executive producers. Gail Lyon, Paul Lee and Hope Hartman from wiip are also on board, along with Fisk University.
Coach Corrinne Tarver managed to have her team of talented youth compete at the 2023 Super 16 gymnastics invitational in Las Vegas earlier this year and even saw one of the Fisk freshmen earn the highest score on the vault, despite the group not having a gym of their own to practice in. “This is the most aspirational coming-of-age sports story of the year. We have not seen this before, and it’s happening in real time. My work as a filmmaker has always and will always be about unpacking and centering stories of extraordinary Black women as they navigate the intersection of race, gender, and class. Watching this unfold in gymnastics will be a blueprint and a lesson for equity and access,” Draper shared.
Tarver added, “I am so honored to see this story brought to light in a documentary series. Following this team as it makes history and sharing the courage and fearless nature these student-athletes bring to the mat every day is inspiring to all.” The school’s faculty could also not be more proud of the young women’s accomplishments. Executive vice president of the HBCU, Jens Frederiksen, said, “Fisk University has always been at the forefront of social justice and impact from W.E.B DuBois, to Diane Nash, and Nikki Giovanni. This remarkable gymnastics team continues this unique legacy by paving the way for the next generation of HBCU athletics and Black gymnasts.”