Takeria “queen bee” Clark, founder of the Honey Bees double Dutch team, has a clear vision for the Jersey City-based team. “This is more than an organization,” she told local blog CHICPEAJC before winning the national championship. “This is a movement.”
Tragedy struck the Bees on Saturday when a driver fatally hit 8-year-old Jerry “prince bee” Grant, the first boy on the team, while the Bees were fundraising. Even as they grieve, the team is staying focused on its mission of community and self-empowerment.
The Jersey Journal reported that the team is staying strong, with a practice on Monday night that “was a little more competitive than usual.”
“This tragedy has brought the Honey Bees double Dutch team to another level of professionalism,” Jerry’s mother, Kimberly Prince, a co-founder of the team, told The Journal. “Throughout the remainder of the season, it will be dedicated to prince bee.”
The Bees stepped onto the national spotlight when they appeared on “The Tonight Show” in August after winning the national championship. Fame did not distract the movement, and tragedy appears to make it stronger.
Clark told CHICPEAJC that she began organizing the team in April 2015 after a group of girls noticed Clark and her friends jumping double Dutch in a local park. She recalled jumping “non-stop” as a child and wanted to pass the sport on to a younger generation. Soon after creating the nonprofit organization, a mission beyond double Dutch emerged.
“We swarm together to empower the community to utilize the gifts and talents that focus on motivation and positive redirection through the urban sport of Double Dutch,” she told Lynn Hazen, founder of the blog site, about the Bees’ mission.
This is a mission that Clark wants team members to take with them into college and well into adulthood.