Story and Direction by A.R. Shaw
Images by Phoenix White
From an outsider’s point of view, professional wrestling can look like a circus. The melodramatic feuds and pre-fight diatribes could be too much for the casual viewer who happens to catch a glimpse of “WWE Monday Night Raw” while flipping through channels.
But when taking a closer look at World Wrestling Entertainment, there is method to the orchestrated chaos within the ring. For millions, the WWE is a way of life.
More than 280 million fans are reached through their social media outlets; more than nine million fans have downloaded their mobile app; and the company generated more than $480 million last year.
But while the reach of WWE continues to expand across demographics, there are only a handful of black Americans at the forefront of the sport.
Any black athlete who is a minority in their respective sport has opportunities to change the course of history and open the doors for others.
Ariane Andrew, who goes by “Cameron” in the ring, understands the importance of that responsibility.
“I am happy to be black and a role model for little girls and boys to have an inspiration to look up to,” Andrew said during a recent interview in Los Angeles. “WWE is a humongous, worldwide, international company. I am glad to be able to be a role model and to show kids [that] if you work hard, have dedication and have drive, you can achieve anything. The sky is the limit. You constantly see new demographics coming in and watching the show; especially now after ‘Total Divas.’ This is a sport that is usually dominated by men. So it’s awesome to be a strong, black American woman in a world that has been predominantly for men.”