Activism and Black Female Athletes
BY: Johari Shuck “Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing.” ~Audre Lorde We couldn’t breathe. The collective battle cry could be heard from all corners of the world in the wake of yet another blatant disregard of Black lives in America. In the wake of the public displays of solidarity made by Black professional athletes holding their hands up like Michael Brown in his final moments or rocking black t-shirts that nonverbally reminded us of Eric Garner’s final moments, many collegiate
and high school athletes have followed, joining the ranks of Black people who have expressed their awareness of and frustration with the perpetual problem of the (undervalued) negro; a toxic ideology that has seeped into nearly every crevice of society today, especially sports. These public displays of solidarity with the Black American community by athletes further expose the unique position of Black athletes who have been historically and simultaneously praised and exploited by virtue of their race. Whether or not these young people had ever heard of Harry Edwards, Tommie Smith or John Carlos, they joined the lean ranks of athletes who chose to speak out about injustice anywhere.