Famous 1st Athletes

In our continuing search for Famous African-American 1sts in athletics, I came across the following athletes. These athletes were ground breakers in many ways and just like Marshall Taylor, are largely forgotten. Some of them are shocking and some just gave me greater insights into the role black folks played in early American Athletics. For instance, did you know that 13 of the 15 jockeys that started in the 1st Kentucky Derby in 1875 were African-American? Enjoy!

Oliver Lewis was an African-American Jockey who won the very 1st Kentucky Derby Horse Race in 1875. 13 of the 15 jockeys that started that race were also African-American!

Willie Thrower was the 1st African-American Quarterback to appear in an N.F.L. Game for the Chicago Bears on October 18th, 1953. NO Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins wasn't the 1st African-American Quarterback, though he was the 1st to win a Super Bowl!

Called by some ‘Soul on Ice’, Mr. Willie O’ree was the 1st African-American player to enter the National Hockey League when he took the ice for the Boston Bruins in 1958.

George Poage is the 1st African-American Summer Olympic Medalist. These Olympic Summer Games took place in St. Louis Missouri in 1904.
After reading some of the stories of these 4 men I was completely at a loss for word! If there are 4 here, there must be many more recorded in others places! Developing story.....


Post a Comment 7 comments:

jmickyATL said...

good history lesson

January 4, 2008 at 11:26 PM

gwadzilla said...

I live in DC
when I take my two young sons ice skating we go to a rink in Anacostia, Fort Dupont

it is wonderful to see that so many of the talented skaters are black
sports just like music are without color
there are young african american hockey players and young african american figure skaters

that is all it takes

and it does not help for these kids to see that they can have heroes in these sports as well

February 1, 2008 at 10:01 AM

gwadzilla said...


I am excited about Fort Dupont being developed into being a more worthy mountain bike trail
it is open to mountain biking
but there is not much to it
it does not flow
it is not that much fun
but... if IMBA could get the okay from the NPS to develop it
here would be another chance for city kids (many of which are african american) to be exposed to something that they would not be exposed to

Trips for Kids already hosts group rides there

but I am asking for MORE!

IMBA:International Mountain Bike Association
NPS: National Park Service
MORE: Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts

February 1, 2008 at 10:03 AM

gwadzilla said...

excuse my double negative about


February 1, 2008 at 10:04 AM

Anonymous said...

Willie O'Ree is actually African-Canadian. Still an inspiration, however.

March 5, 2008 at 12:32 AM

Anonymous said...

Willie O'Ree is actually African-Canadian. Still an inspiration, however.

March 5, 2008 at 12:32 AM

Anonymous said...

I hate blacks

February 17, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Post a Comment