Tag: Olympics


Flo Jo

The World’s Fastest Woman™
Olympic gold medalist – Florence Griffith-Joyner
{1959 – 1998}

Famous African American Athletes

In honor of Black History Month & the Winter Olympics I thought it would be the perfect time to highlight African American athletes who have made U.S. history in the major sports arena –

  • Ice Skating – Debi Thomas became the first African American to win the women’s title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1986. Ms. Thomas later attended Stanford University and followed by Northwestern University Medical School. She was named to the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2000, and currently works as an orthopedic surgeon. Additionally, Thomas is an active supporter of several charities, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation.



  • Track & Field – John Baxter Taylor Jr. is the 1st African American to win an Olympic Gold Medal EVER! An Ivy League graduate, Taylor’s ran track for the University of Pennsylvania and his stride measured 8 feet 6 inches, the longest of any runner yet known at that time. During one of his biggest races, Taylor was deliberately fouled by one of the contestants, but he refused to fight back and after winning the race was so loudly applauded that hundreds of Southern gentlemen rushed up and shook him by the hand, an almost unheard-of thing for a white man in the South.” In the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, he brought home the gold in the medley relay team event.  


  • Swimming – Maritza Correia is the first African American woman to earn a place on the U.S. Olympic swim team. In 2004, she helped secure the silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle relay at the Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. At the suggestion of her doctor, Correia started swimming when she was just 7 years old. She had scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine, and swimming helped mitigate the effects of her disorder. Initially therapeutic, swimming soon became Correia’s passion. She continues to promote the sport as a spokesperson for USA Swimming and for the Women’s Sports Foundation. Traveling around the country, Correia often discusses her experiences with inner-city kids and encourages them to give swimming a try.


  • Hockey – Michael Grier Is a trailblazer of sorts as the first African-American player, born and trained in the United States, to make it to the NHL. He was quoted as saying “I was very fortunate to be able to play 14 seasons in the NHL with some great players.” “The memories and friendships that I have built during my time in the league will last a lifetime. I would like to thank my former teammates, family and fans for helping make my career so memorable for me.”


READERS: Black History Month Fact Of The Day – First African American Female Sheriff EVER!

Sheriff Jacquelyn H. Barrett was elected to the office of Sheriff, Fulton County in Atlanta, Georgia on November 3,1992. A graduate of Atlanta University in Georgia and Arcadia College in Pennsylvania, Sheriff Barrett is the first African American female elected to the office of Sheriff in the history of this nation. In 1996 and 2000 she was elected by the voters to serve her second and third consecutive four?year terms in that office. As the “High Sheriff” of Fulton County, Sheriff Barrett manages one of the largest county jail operations in the State of Georgia. She commands a combined staff of more than 1,000 sworn officers and civilians, with a budget in excess of $80 million.

Sheriff Barrett gained her technical acumen during the ten years she served with the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council – the state oversight board for licensing and training peace officers in the State of Georgia. Later, she was appointed Director of the Fulton County Public Safety Training Center.

She is a recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. “Drum Major for Justice” Award and the Jean Young Community Service Award. In 1995, she was inducted into the Atlanta YWCA’s Academy of Women. Sheriff Barrett served as a member of the Atlanta Olympic Security Support Group – providing venue security and dignitary protection. She is graduate of Leadership Atlanta and continues to work with the Leadership Atlanta Alumni Association.

In 1997?1998 Sheriff Barrett served as president of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (N.O.B.L.E.). In 1998, Sheriff Barrett was recognized for her achievements in law enforcement by being named a Trumpet Award recipient from Turner Broadcasting System. Sheriff Barrett was appointed by Governor Roy Barnes to the Board of Public Safety for the State of Georgia, with oversight of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. In 2001, Arcadia College bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree upon Sheriff Barrett for her achievements in law enforcement.

Sheriff Jacquelyn H. Barrett is married to Mr. Gene Washington. They are the parents of three grown children and two grandchildren.