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Sports Moments in Black History

Feb 05, 2012

February is Black History Month so Kidzworld is saluting some of America's greatest athletes. Read on to find out about Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens and other African American sports pioneers.

Black History - Jesse Owens

African American AthletesJesse Owens

Jesse Owens became an American hero after an amazing performance at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. At the time, Germany was ruled by Adolph Hitler who absurdly believed that blacks, Asians and other races were inferior to whites. Jessie proved how wrong Hitler's racist ideas were by winning the gold medal in the long jump, the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. He took home a fourth gold medal by running the opening leg for the US team that won the 4x100-meter relay. Jesse was nicknamed the World's Fastest Man and, in 1976, he was awarded the Medal of Freedom - the highest award a US citizen can receive.

Black History - Jackie Robinson

African American AthletesJackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play major league baseball. Jackie was a star in the Negro Leagues but wasn't allowed to play in major league baseball because he was black. He finally got his chance when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945. On April 15, 1947, he played his first major league game as the Dogers' first baseman. Many people booed and jeered Jackie when he took the field but by the end of the season, he won many of them over with his play on the field. He batted .297, led the league in stolen bases and was named the National League Rookie of the Year. More importantly, he broke baseball's color barrier and opened the door for other black athletes to participate in professional sports.

Black History - Althea Gibson

African American AthletesAlthea Gibson

Long before Serena and Venus Williams were dominating women's tennis, there was Althea Gibson. In 1950, Althea became the first black woman to play at the US Nationals. She advanced to the second round of the tournament and showed many ignorant tennis fans that African Americans belonged on the tennis court. In 1957, she won the US Nationals and Wimbledon, and was welcomed home with a ticker tape parade in New York.

Black History - Willie O'Ree

African American AthletesWillie O'Ree

Willie O'Ree made history when he stepped on the ice to play for the Boston Bruins on January 18, 1958. Willie was the first African American to play in the National Hockey League. He only played two seasons for the Bruins, because of an eye injury, but he opened the door for many other African Americans to skate in the NHL, including [kwlink]All-Star[/kwlink] Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames.

Black History - Muhammad Ali

African American AthletesMuhammed Ali

Muhammad Ali called himself The Greatest and he lived up to that name by being the first boxer to win the heavyweight title three times. Ali won his first title as Cassius Clay (his birth name) in 1964 by defeating Sonny Liston. Shortly after the fight, he became a Muslim and changed his name to Muhammad Ali because he believed that Cassius Clay was his "slave name." Ali was stripped of his title in 1967 for refusing to join the US Army because of his religious beliefs. He regained the title in 1974 by defeating George Foreman in Zaire in the famous Rumble in the Jungle. He snagged the title again in '78 after defeating Leon Spinks. He retired in 1981 and now raises money and awareness for Parkinson's Disease, which he suffers from.

Black History - Vonetta Flowers

African American AthletesVonetta Flowers

Vonetta Flowers - the former track star turned Olympic bobsledder - made history at the 2002 Winter Olympics by becoming the first black athlete to win a gold medal at a Winter Olympics. Vonetta's gold medal will hopefully inspire future black athletes to become more involved in winter sports.

Have Your Say

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Sports In The Forums

Lolly20 posted in Xtreme Sports:
of coarse girls can be stronger than boys but some are not :wave
reply 1 day
How the game works: you roast the favorite american football player of the person above you  EXAMPLE: Mathew Stafford LIONS QB USER BELOW: hes the worst qb in nfl did you know that? Ok first person to reply roasts my player:  Favorite NFL Player: Antonio Brown #84 Pittsburgh Steelers
reply 3 days
Lolly20 posted in Cheerleading:
as long as they r happy i think it is fine :)
reply 5 days
A recent comment on a video gave me this idea , of writing about this whole scenario  the comment was something like this Messi + Ronaldo = Zlatan It was something that made me happy , cuz i'm a Zlatan fan myself , but keeping that aside I'll be honest in stating the reasons due to which Zlatan is considered better among fans  1st - Tired of Messi vs Ronaldo ; For those of you tired of the endless Messi vs Ronaldo debate Zlatan is the middle way , when Zlatan was asked for a word to describe Messi and Ronaldo  he said for Messi - Fantastic , for Ronaldo - Good ( he'd definitely prefer messi since he was in barca , so definitely against Real Madrid , but i'll skip that ) , but when asked about one word for Zlatan - "WOW!" that was his answer 2nd - If you believe in extraordinary and Jaw-dropping stuff; If we talk about Messi and Ronaldo we'll think constant goal scorers and team players and who deliver something great evry time the team needs it , but Zlatan he may also score regularly not as frequent as Messi or Ronaldo , but every time he scores it's another jaw dropping goal , whether that 32 yard bicycle kick vs England or extraordinary volleys Zlatan is Zlatan 3rd Zlatan does things nobody does; You won't see Ronaldo having fun with reporters or Messi bad mouthing his manager even when he is wrong , Zlatan doesn't cares,  like who can forget the epic reply to Arsene Wenger on asking Zlatan to play a trial game , -" ZLATAN doesn't do Auditions" If some of you guys don't agree with me no problem , everybody has their own opinion , and if you don't agree with me cuz you don't know about any of those Zlatan goals or interviews , then you should definitely search the internet for - Extraordinary Zlatan  ZLATAN may had not won the -ballon d'or , but has won large no of trophies and league titles  search for zlatan ibrahimovic - titles and trophies for that
reply 8 days
Well for me, I think totally! Inside that is. When a guy says girls can't play sports I think THEY can't be cheerleaders. But if a guy says girls CAN play sports, yep, they could be cheerleaders
reply 12 days