In this installment of Women to Know: Sports Edition, MADAMENOIRE gives professional boxer and mixed martial artist Claressa Shields her propers.

MN’s managing editor Ida Harris speaks emphatically about Shields and encourages readers to get to know about the athlete, her journey and her resilience.

“Her story speaks to a lot of Black athletes coming out of Black communities in which the family dynamic is a little broken.” Harris states.

Shields was nurtured and raised by her grandmother at a time when her parents faced life challenges. Her mother struggled with drug addiction which resulted in Shields helping to raise her siblings. Shields’ dad was absentee in her early years but became an integral part of her introduction to boxing once they reunified. Shields worked through that and found overwhelming success.

“It’s a feel-good story,” adds Harris.

Shields is responsible for many firsts. In 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Shields became the first American boxer to win successive Olympic titles. In 2017, she was the first woman to headline a boxing promotion on Showtime.

Shields also rides for her community. What many don’t know about Shields is that she’s a big activist for the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Shields is from Flint, and she wears blue braids to raise awareness for the water crisis in her hometown.

Shields has so much more in store. The Michigan native is working on a biopic that chronicles her journey to success. Stay tuned.

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