All Articles Tagged "black female athletes"
In honor of Black History Month, MadameNoire is sending a daily salute to the African American women who inspire us every day of the year. Today we’re recognizing the black women athletes who make us proud everywhere from the tennis courts to the track, the balance beams, and the swimming pool.
Venus and Serena Williams
Venus and Serena Williams took the tennis world by storm when the two brown girls from Compton with braid and beads showed up on the courts and dominated their opponents. Venus has been ranked World No. 1 in singles by the Women’s Tennis Association on three separate occasions, and when she was named so in 2002 for the first time, she became the first African American woman to achieve be given then title during the Open Era. Venus is also a four-time Olympic gold medalist and as of February 2013, is ranked number 22 in the world in singles.
Like her big sister, Serena has also ranked up a number of World No. 1 rankings — five to be exact since July 2002. Serena is the only female player to have won over $40 million in prize money and she is regardedas one of the greatest tennis players of all time, having won 30 Grand Slam titles and four Olympic Gold medals.
Overcoming racial and gender barriers – and sometimes, physical limitations – these seven black female athletes displayed determination and grace under fire. Their pioneering efforts redefined the notion of female athletes, and showed the world that black women could compete and win on any field.
Born in 1913, Louise Stokes was one of the first two black women to qualify for the Olympics. In the 1932 Olympic Trials, she placed third in the 100 meters race, which qualified her for a spot on the women’s 400-meter relay team. However due to the racial climate of that era, Stokes was forced to stand on the sidelines while her white teammates competed in the Los Angeles Olympics.
Four years later, she qualified for the 400-meter relay team that represented America in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, but once again, she was replaced by a white runner during the competition. However, her efforts paved the way for future Olympian Alice Coachman.