Thursday, January 12, 2017
Somebody has to be the first, and the faint of heart need not apply
These were the first on the big stage, making history and breaking barriers -- in this case, race barriers. Each of these consequential individuals had extraordinary patience, grace, intelligence, dignity, and ability. They were sorely tested, persevered, and succeeded -- iconic examples for the ages.
They were essential. They moved us forward, and we could use more like them. Now would be good.
Kenny Washington, first black NFL player, Los Angeles Rams, 1946
Jackie Robinson, first black MLB player, Brooklyn Dodgers, 1947
Earl Lloyd, first black NBA player, Washington Capitols, 1950
Althea Gibson, first black tennis player on the USTA Tour, 1950
Willie O'Ree, first black NHL player, Boston Bruins, 1958
Charlie Sifford, first black golfer on the PGA Tour, 1961
Barack Obama, first black President of the United States, 2008