Let’s Celebrate Black History Month!

Black History Month is a time for us to look back and celebrate all of the wonderful work that black members of society have done in our nation’s history. Some important figures we can never forget are Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and Fredrick Douglass. These people have all played a major role in fighting for civil rights through setbacks and violence, but still found a way to bounce back. All of these important leaders have paved the way for agents of change to exist today.

But let’s not forget those who found a way to stay physically active for a living and made a mark in history in national SPORTS! Here are a few important Olympians and professional athletes we want to highlight:

Wilma Rudolph- A woman well known for her story of overcoming polio and becoming a world-record holding Olympic champion and international sports legend in track and field.  She became the first African-American woman to win three gold medals in an Olympic event.

Sheryl Swoopes- She is often called the “female Michael Jordan”.  She was the first player signed to the WNBA, won three Olympic medals, and was also a three-time WNBA MVP.

Dominique Dawes- Commonly known in the gymnast world as “Awesome Dawesome,” she was one of the only black gymnasts to win Olympic medals in artistic gymnastics. Dawes was a 10-year member of the U.S. national gymnastics team.

Laila Ali- A woman who followed in the footsteps of her father, and lead in the female boxing world. She is known for her 24 straight wins before retirement.

Serena Williams- Also known as the “Queen of the Court”, this professional tennis player has ranked No. 1 in singles tennis on eight separate occasions and holds the most Grand Slam titles.

And let’s take a moment to honor some of Philly’s finest stars:

Dawn Staley- She is an American basketball Hall of Fame player and a three-time Olympian. This woman was also selected to carry the U.S. flag at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Mone Davis- This young lady is an American former Little League Baseball pitcher and the first African-American girl to play in the Little League World Series.  She was also the first Little League player to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Hank Gathers- He was an American college basketball player at Loyola Marymount University. He was the second player in NCAA Division I history to lead the nation in scoring and rebounding in the same season.

Rasual Butler- In his 14-year NBA career, he played for eight different teams. He was drafted in the second round of the 2002 NBA Draft after playing basketball at La Salle University.

By: Candace Marshall