Here’s to Another First:

The Historic Significance of a Super Bowl With Two Black Starting Quarterbacks

Every sentence I’ve ever read that began with “The first African American or the first black person to…” was historic and significant because it almost always preceded some true story — one where the names weren’t changed to protect the guilty — that I hadn’t known, or which simply needed to be retold to remind some folks.

Needless to say, there are more of those stories now than I could ever count. And this one, well, to quote my boys from Oaktown…

Because it’s the telling of the national story, the whole story, our stories, that spark (and, yes, sometimes ignite) the much-needed conversations America still needs to have that challenge the carefully crafted false narratives we wrongfully call American History.

But if we continue to tell them honestly and without condemnation, and if they’re received openly and without shame, we can replace fiction with truth and dispel the myths embraced by so many folks (black, white and other, but mostly… y’all know who you are) that one was the first to accomplish everything and the others are the last to do anything.

So, here’s to another first. Not one black quarterback vs another black quarterback, but the Chiefs vs the Eagles.

I’m not gonna’ go there. Today.


The Black Eagles

At the 1936 Olympics, 18 black athletes went to Berlin as part of the U.S. team. Pictured here are (left to right rear) Dave Albritton, and Cornelius Johnson, high jumpers; Tidye Pickett, a hurdler; Ralph Metcalfe, a sprinter; Jim Clark, a boxer, and Mack Robinson, a sprinter. In front are John Terry, (left) a weight lifter and John Brooks, a long jumper. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

There were eighteen African-American athletes on the U.S. Team in the 1936 Olympic Games held in Berlin, Germany. They won 14 medals — eight of them gold: a quarter of the 56 medals won by the entire U.S. team. Most of them have been all but forgotten.

“It was easier to tell the story of one African-American Continue reading “The Black Eagles”

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