Black women now have the opportunity to play key roles in the fight for women’s justice.
On Sunday, the world’s first black women champion for women, Anita Bryant, made history by becoming the first woman in history to take the stage at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in Miami.
In a move that is certain to have reverberations, Bryant, 38, was the only woman to receive a standing ovation when she arrived at the WBC stage on Saturday evening.
The audience applauded as she declared that “black women are more than baseball players”.
Bryant, who won the 2016 World Series with the San Francisco Giants, was born in India and has been an active member of the national baseball community since the 1980s.
In 2017, she was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The WBC is an international baseball tournament, but in its history, there are only two black women in the field, and neither is a professional player.
Anita Bryant is the first black woman to be elected to the WBA (World Baseball Association) and WBC (Women’s Baseball Confederation) national rankings.
She is the only African American woman in the WBO (World Boxing Organization), a major international boxing body.
The first African American to win the WBI (World Junior Baseball Championship), Bryant has also won the WSC (Women in Sports), a women’s world governing body.
Bodies like the WNBA and WTA (Women of the Year) have included black women, but none have had a prominent player of colour in the top spot.
Bollywood actress Miley Cyrus was nominated for the ESPYs for her performance in the film The Hunting Ground.
Bryants inclusion in the Hall of Honor, along with the inclusion of the world heavyweight boxing champion Gennady Golovkin, was seen as a major step towards making black women athletes more visible.
Borys acceptance at the Hall was seen by many as a victory for black sports fans, who have been largely left out of the sport.
“I was a huge fan of her in the beginning,” said former Olympian and current New York Yankees star Carlos Beltran, who has long been critical of the lack of black women playing professional sports.
“She has been a champion on the field of play and I think that is something that will continue to resonate for years to come.”
Athletes like Bryant have long been on the rise, but have struggled to break through in the mainstream sports media.
Many of them have been reluctant to discuss their accomplishments in the spotlight, and some are now in the process of coming out of hiding to reveal their stories and fight for equality.
“She is not the first.
But I think the mainstream media hasn’t taken her seriously enough,” said Sarah Williams, who is African American and the president of the NAACP.
“We need to hear more about black women like her, and not just hear that she is a black athlete.
I don’t want to see a black man in that role.
Black women can play the sport and be the role model for us.”
As she prepares to leave the WSBU, Bryant said she has always been a fighter.
She told The Associated Press she is focused on being the best person for her family and on taking the fight to the haters.
“I am a fighter and I have to fight for what I believe in, and that is being strong and getting out there and doing the best I can,” she said.
“If you don’t do it, you’re not going to be a champion.”
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