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10 Badass Trailblazers in Sports

Get to know these badass trailblazers!

Lucy Diggs Slowe became the first Black American woman to win a major sports title at the very first American Tennis Association tournament. She was also the first Black American woman to serve as a dean of women at an American university.

Alice Coachman became the first Black woman to win Olympic gold for the US Olympic team in track and field for the high jump. She was also the first Black American woman to win an international product endorsement deal from Coca-Cola, placing her face on billboards all around the world.

Multi-talented athlete Althea Gibson was the first Black tennis player of either gender to cross the color lines of international tennis. She was the first Black woman to compete at Wimbledon and the first to win a Grand Slam title in 1956 when she won the French Championship. The next year, she won at Wimbledon and the US Nationals. In 1958, she went back and won both of them again. Then, when she retired from tennis, she went on to become the first Black American woman to play on the professional golf circuit! Truly badass.

Wilma Rudolph was known as “the fastest woman in the world” and, in 1960, she became the first American woman to win three gold medals at the same Olympic Games in track and field for the US Olympic team in Rome, Italy.

Cardte Hicks was the first Black American drafted to play professional basketball, and the first woman to dunk in a professional game. She did it in Holland during a professional MEN’S game.

Serena Williams became the first tennis player to win twenty-three Grand Slam singles titles in the open era.

Gabby Douglas became the first American gymnast to win both solo and team all-around gold medals for gymnastics during one Olympic Games. She did this at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She is also the first woman of African descent of any nationality to achieve this feat.

Mo’Ne Davis was the very first girl to pitch a shutout and win a game in the history of the Little League World Series.

At Dover International Speedway, Brehanna Daniels became the first Black American woman to pit a car in a national NASCAR race.

Nicole Lynn became the first Black woman sports agent to represent a top three pick in the NFL draft. She represented Quinnen Williams.

-- A creator of safe spaces, and an initiator of difficult conversations, M.J. Fievre, B.S. Ed, spent much time building up her Black students, helping them feel comfortable in their skin, and affirming their identities. Her close relationships with parents and students led her to look more closely at how we can balance protecting our child’s innocence with preparing them for the realities of Black life. When―and how―do you approach racism with your children? How do you protect their physical and mental health while also preparing them for a country full of systemic racism? She began to research the issue and speak to school counselors and psychologists to find (and apply!) strategies parents and teachers can use with their children to broach uncomfortable but necessary topics.

M.J. is the author of Badass Black Girl, a daily dose of affirmations for Black Girls

“You'll come away from Badass Black Girl feeling as if you've known the author your entire life, and it's a rare feat for any writer.” ―“Mike, the Poet,” author of Dear Woman and The Boyfriend Book

#1 Gift Idea in Teen & Young Adult Cultural Heritage Biographies, Publishers Weekly Select Title for Young Readers

Affirmations for strong, fearless Black girls. Wisdom from Badass Black female trailblazers who accomplished remarkable things in literature, entertainment, education, STEM, business, military and government services, politics and law, activism, sports, spirituality, and more.

Explore the many facets of your identity through hundreds of big and small questions. In this journal designed for teenage Black girls, MJ Fievre tackles topics such as family and friends, school and careers, body image, and stereotypes. By reflecting on these topics, you will confront the issues that can hold you back from living your best life and discovering your Black girl bliss.

Embrace authenticity and celebrate who you are. Finding the courage to live as you are is not easy, so here’s a journal designed to help you nurture creativity, positive self-awareness and Black girl bliss. This journal honors the strength and spirit of Black girls.

Change the way you view the world. This journal provides words of encouragement that seek to inspire and ignite discussion. You are growing up in a world that tries to tell you how to look and act. MJ Fievre encourages you to fight the flow and determine for yourself who you want to be.

Badass Black Girl helps you to:

  • Build and boost your self-esteem with powerful affirmations

  • Learn more about yourself through insightful journaling

  • Become comfortable and confident in your authentic self


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