Alice Coachman, who in 1948 became the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal, has died.
During her youth in Georgia, she wasn’t permitted to use public sports facilities because of the color of her skin; to practice high-jumping, the event that later won her the gold medal, she used rope or tied rags together to substitute for crossbars. When she returned home from the London Olympics in 1948, her hometown gave her a celebratory welcome, but she wasn’t allowed to speak at the ceremony and the mayor did not shake her hand.
Photo: Coachman wins the 1948 Women’s National Track Meet in Grand Rapids, Iowa. Credit: Associated Press