Growing up in Maplewood, New Jersey the only Black, Muslim-American in hijab, in middle school Ibtihaj discovered fencing, a sport traditionally reserved for the wealthy and elite. Though she would start fencing later than most at 12 years old, she had an undeniable talent-the sort that would soon put her on the international stage.
But Ibtihaj saw something more in her Olympic journey: an opportunity to take action, to stand up and make a Muslim-American woman of color impossible to ignore.
Ibtihaj’s path to Olympic greatness has been marked with hateful opposition and near-debilitating challenges-bigotry from teammates at Duke University and Team USA, death threats, and social hardships as a Muslim-American.
In Proud, her exhilarating emergence from young outsider to national hero and outspoken activist is a timeless, uniquely American tale of hard work, determination, and resilience that hasn’t been told.