Jessica “Jessie” Lauren Graff is a professional stunt woman and athletics-based television personality. Her nickname is “Tumbleweed”. She is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a black sash in Kung Fu, and is trained in five other styles of martial arts. She is also a championship pole vaulter and competitive gymnast.
She has become well known for her athletic achievements on the obstacle course show American Ninja Warrior, including in 2016 becoming the first woman ever to complete Stage One of the Las Vegas Finals course.
Graff started doing stunt work in 1997, and has appeared in several television shows and movies, including X-Men: First Class, Make It or Break It, Another Period, Bridesmaids, Knight and Day, Bad Teacher, John Carter, and Sons of Anarchy. As of 2016 her most recent high profile stunt work has been for the CBS series Supergirl. (X)
“In my mind I see a line. And over that line I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line but I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line. That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. And let me tell you something, the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So here’s to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes, people who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black. And to the Taraji P. Hensons, the Kerry Washingtons, the Halle Berrys, the Nicole Beharies, the Meagan Goods, to Gabrielle Union, thank you for taking us over that line.”