Black History Month | Heroes in Sports

MY HERO Celebrates Black History Month. Get inspired by African American Heroes in Sports.

Credit: United States Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons


African American history began in the immoral practice of slavery. It could be said that Sports has played a special role in African American history in the following era of segregation to integration, because it was often one of the first areas where integration between African Americans and whites took place. The great contributions of African American Sports heroes continues to be a source of inspiration and a lens through which to see the fight for justice play out in United States history.

High School Students Share Stories of Their African American Sports Heroes in History

Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Peter Norman

By: Jesse Zaragoza
Tommie Smith, John Carlos, and Peter Norman, who were part of the 1968 Olympic team in track and field, raised their fists during the US National Anthem in support of civil rights.

Arthur Ashe: A Hero Who Left a Mark in History

By: Owen J. Geddes

Arthur Ashe broke racial barriers as a leading tennis player.

Muhammad Ali

By: Ryan Moghaddas

Muhammad Ali was a professional boxer and pacifist.

Wilma Rudolph

By: Grace Goodwin

Wilma Rudolph was an Olympic gold medalist in track and field.

Listen & Read Along

Jackie Robinson

By: Brandon from Selden, New York
Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball. Learn more on

Magic Johnson

By: Laura Tucker for MY HERO
Magic Johnson inspires others with his basketball talents and philanthropic work.

Professional Writer Charles F. Harper Talks About His Sports Hero

Loretta Claiborne

By: Charles F. Harper

"God is my strength and Special Olympics is my joy."

Related Link 

Youth Misinformed

Produced by:Abirami Subramanian
Youth Misinformed is about the spread of misinformation through the education system and how that affects climate change and solutions.

This wonderful exhibition on the special role of Sports in African American History comes from the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). The NMAAHC is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. 

National Museum of African American History and Culture
Credit: NMAAHC

Our Curators


Artwork curated by MY HERO Arts Education and Gallery director Giselle Villatoro. 


Short films curated by MY HERO International Film Festival director Wendy Milette


Hero Stories curated by MY HERO General Editor and Story Director Shannon Luders-Manuel. 


Audio curated by MY HERO Audio director Stu Pearlman. 

Organizer created on 1/27/2019 8:44:26 PM by MY HERO Staff

Last edited 2/14/2021 11:30:54 PM by Shannon Luders-Manuel