African Americans are a demographic minority in the United States. The first achievements by African Americans in various fields historically marked footholds, often leading to more widespread cultural change. The shorthand phrase for this is "breaking the color barrier".[1][2]

The world of sports generally is invoked in the frequently cited example of Jackie Robinson, who became the first African American of the modern era to become a Major League Baseball player in 1947, ending 60 years of segregated Negro leagues.[3]

19th century

1879

1884

1896

1899

20th century

1902

1904

1908

1910s

1916

1917

1920s

1920

1921

1924

1929

1930s

1936

1940s

1946

1947

1948

1949

1950s

1950

1951

1953

1955

1956

1957

1958

1960s

1961

1962

1963

1964

1966

1967

1968

1970s

1970

1972

1974

1975

1977

1979

1980s

1981

1982

1984

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990s

1991

1992

1993

1994

1996

1997

1998

21st century

2002

2003

2004

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010s

2010

2012

2013

2014

2015

2018

2020

2021

2022

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Clifton was the first to sign an NBA contract and subsequently play, Cooper was the first to be drafted by an NBA team, and Lloyd was the first to play in an NBA regular-season game because his team's opening game was one day before the others.
  2. ^ At the time, the NCAA had not yet adopted its three-division system. Illinois State was in the NCAA University Division, which became Division I in 1973. The NCAA retroactively considers University Division members to have been Division I members.
  3. ^ Although Flood's legal challenge was unsuccessful, it brought about additional solidarity among players as they fought against baseball's reserve clause and sought free agency.
  4. ^ The NHL had fielded black players for more than 20 years, with the first being Willie O'Ree in 1958, but all previous black players were Black Canadians and not African Americans. In 1996, Mike Grier (Edmonton Oilers) became the first to have been both born and exclusively trained in the U.S., per Allen, Kevin (January 14, 2008). "Willie O'Ree still blazing way in NHL 50 years later". USA Today. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  5. ^ Lewis Hamilton became the first black Formula One racer in 2006, but he is a British citizen of Grenadan ancestry, and not an African American. Ribbs did not compete in a race, but drove a Formula One car professionally in January 1986 as a tester for the BrabhamBMW at Estoril, Portugal.
  6. ^ a b c Woods' mixed ancestry — ¼ Chinese, ¼ Thai, ¼ African-American, ⅛ white, and ⅛ Native American — also makes him the first Asian American to achieve this feat. He is also the first of only four golfers of primarily non-European descent to win a men's major, with the others being Vijay Singh (an Indian Fijian), Michael Campbell (a Māori from New Zealand), and Y.E. Yang (South Korean).
  7. ^ Announced as Bobcats owner in December 2002, although team did not begin play until 2004.
  8. ^ Smith and Dungy both reached this milestone on the same day, although Smith was technically the first due solely to scheduling. The NFC and AFC Championship Games are always held on the same day. In the playoffs that followed the 2006 NFL season, the NFC game was played first.

References

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Bibliography