It was a great honor for me to read and review “The African American Woman Golfer-Her Legacy” by M. Mikell Johnson. There is not much news about the golfers of color in Italy and perhaps the world because of the lack of literature on the subject. The book really points out this deficiency in media coverage.
The author began to research the subject when her daughter asked “are there any famous African American women golfers? If so, where are they?”.
Mikell Johnson accepted the challenge and began to research the media archives and Club records to write an interesting overview of the women of color, “black heroines” and pioneers in golf. The result is an indepth historical work with a reconstuction of biographies of some of the most prolific and famous golfers.
There are eight women who are descibed as the “first” African American women who are distinguised for their talents to become legends:
Ann Gregory, UGA most prolific female champion
Paris Brown, UGA first Tournament Director
Ethel Funches, UGA Open Champion seven times
Althea Gibson, First to play on the LPGA Tour
Maggie Hathaway, Golf activist/journalist
Phyllis Meekins, LPGA Golf Instructor
Renee Powell, Second to play on the LPGA Tour
Laree Sugg, Third to play on the LPGA Tour
It is pointed out that laws were enacted to overcome the racial difficulties of segregation and many educational inadequacies. Title IX, the education Act became known for its impact on sports. The author writes about the influence of the first African American women’s golf clubs, the Wake Robin Golf Club and the Chicago Women’s Golf Club as the ones who “created the legacy”. However, it was during the period of 1946 to 1974, that the African American woman emerged as a competitive golf athelete. The “black talent” is missing from the LPGA Tour today because of financing. According to Johnson, the expenses could be suppoted by an “Incubation System”.
In order to find out more about the subject, I advise you to read the book for many references to the black female golfers. If you decide to purchase the book at a 40% discount, get in touch with me (trudy @ hcp34 . it)
I hope that the next book of M. Mikell Johnson will be on the European African golfer.
One – Tee Time
Two – Where Are You? Ethnic References
Three – The Clubhouse: Ethnic Golf Books
Four – The Sign-in Sheet: Newspapers
Five – The Golf cart: Title IX
Six – The Sky Caddie: Organizations
Seven – The First Tee: Pioneers
Eight – The Front Nine: They Dared To Be Different
Nine – The Back Nine: The Next Level
Ten – The Honorees
Eleven – Herstory
Twelve – Nineteenth Hole
Thirteen – Golf Talk
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group