Skip navigation! Story from Health Trends. We all remember the U.
We asked women of color for their thoughts on how these athletes are portrayed. The Undefeated commissioned a study by the Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication on the history of black women in athletics and how racist stigmas and stereotypes, everything from insults about their sexuality and appearance to death threats from extremists, have affected their advancement. We then asked several female artists of color to interpret this difficult history as well as their own experiences with how society views black women. My work focuses on people of color, specifically women of color. One of my current series takes people of color and combines elements of fantasy and sci-fi, genres where we are either background characters or not featured at all. My art is about seeing yourself represented in a new way. My illustration examines how the media and viewer entangles the female black athlete with criticism and unrealistic expectations. Despite breaking world records and excelling in championship games, the female athlete is scrutinized for her body, beauty and femininity. No matter how phenomenal her game, she is never enough.
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They are champions. They are so supreme in their sport -- a sport that had long not even imagined their brown-skinned existence -- that they have changed it forever. Serena and Venus Williams, Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles are the first African-American women to reach the pinnacles of tennis and gymnastics in the modern era.
A number of African-American female athletes have emerged as trailblazers in their particular sports over the years, from track and field and tennis to figure skating and basketball. Three years later, Louise Stokes and Tidye Pickett qualified for the Olympics in track and field, but were not allowed to participate in the event held in Los Angeles because of their race. In Berlin in , Stokes and Pickett became the first African-American women to represent their country in the Olympics. Alice Coachman, a star track and field athlete at Tuskegee Institute, became the first black woman to win Olympic gold, setting records with her high jump at the Olympics in London. Coachman, who dominated her sport, would likely have won more medals if the and Olympics had not been canceled due to World War II. Another pioneering black female athlete, tennis player Ora Washington , won her first American Tennis Association singles title in She held the title for the next seven years, until , then regained it once again in The debut of Jackie Robinson as the first African-American player on a major league baseball team—the Brooklyn Dodgers—in was a major milestone in the history of African Americans in sports. Barriers continued to come down throughout the next few decades: In , Gibson became the first black player male or female to compete in a U.