By Earyel Bowleg
There is no doubt women are amazing. But let’s take time out to appreciate Black female trailblazers. These female are chosen based on their incredible accomplishments and how they have impacted their sport. #Blackgirlmagic
5. Jessica Ennis-Hill (Former Track and Field Athlete)
I know what you’re thinking – she’s Black? Yes, she is half-Black. Nonetheless, it is less to do with her heritage and more about the struggles she overcame and her achievements that matter. As the poster girl of London 2012, Ennis-Hill lived up to the expectation of the nation in probably the most demanding of female athletics disciplines.
But perhaps the biggest part of her legacy is a generation of schoolgirls who wanted to do sports because of Ennis-Hill.
No doubt, Ennis-Hill has left a remarkable heptathlon legacy for Great Britain.
4. Nicola Adams (Boxer)
At 2012 Olympics, Adam won Great Britain’s first ever female boxing. Later in her career, she became the World’s first female boxing Olympic Champion – Adams is the 2012 and 2016 Olympic gold medallist in the women’s flyweight division. At the 2016 Rio Olympic games Adams successfully defended her Olympic title, becoming the first ever female boxer to defend an Olympic title in two consecutive games and the first British boxer to defend an Olympic title in 92 years.
Adams is an empowering figure for Black LGBT. When she won her gold medal in 2012, she became the first openly LGBT person to win an Olympic boxing Gold medal.
3.Wilma Rudolph (Former Track and Field Athlete)
No one paved the way for black female track and field athletes quite like Wilma Rudolph.
At the age of four, Rudolph faced adversity when she was diagnosed with polio. She even became a teen mom during her senior year of high school. But that didn’t stop from competing in the 1956 Olympics. She then went on to compete in the 1960 Olympics – becoming the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field at a single Olympics.
She became a role model for black and female athletes and her performance at the Olympics helped elevate women’s track and field in the United States.
2. Simone Manual (Swimmer)
Simone represents how far Black people have come. During the times of segregation, African-American people were often denied access to pools. Even after this era, White people found ways to exclude Blacks from using public pools. Today, this oppressed group is capable of winning gold medals in swimming.
Besides the historical significance, there is a diversity problem in competitive swimming. The expense of the swimming is not cheap and disproportionately affect lower class Black Americans. Most swim teams that aren’t school teams cost a lot of money to join – you have to pay for the membership as well as the suits and caps and goggles to get you through the season. Transportation can also become an issue.
Her record may be surpassed but she achieved a first that can never be taken away.
1. Serena Williams (Tennis Player)
This would not be a list of the greatest Black women if the legendary Serena Williams was not included. With winning 23 Major Singles titles and 20 Grand Slam titles – she is one of the best tennis players in history.
Tennis is mostly a white sport. The tennis greats, such as Maria Sharapova, are able to attend sports academy and tennis clinics. Williams showed the world that a Black girl straight outta Compton could achieve just as much, even more, with just the help of her dedicated father – Richard Williams – who trained her and big sis Venus at the public courts ducking gunfire.