Compilation of 44 African Americans who Changed the Country
The Undefeated, ESPN’s multimedia content platform focused on the intersection of sports, race and culture, today revealed “The Undefeated 44” – a list of living and past African Americans with extraordinary accomplishments and contributions who are symbols of pride and aspiration.
“The Undefeated 44” was compiled by a panel of editors, senior writers, contributors and other stakeholders at The Undefeated as part of its month-long Black History Month content initiative. The list was limited to 44 as a tribute to the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama – the first African-American president.
“The Undefeated 44” covers a broad spectrum of African American experiences in the United States – pioneers, dreamers, innovators and geniuses. The esteemed group includes:
- A former professional player who became basketball’s most gravity-defying athlete and its best ever – Michael Jordan;
- A raw, piercing comedian who parlayed his biting commentary to become the best of his generation – Richard Pryor;
- A woman who, after her death at 31, became an unwitting participant in a pioneering research for the treatment of cervical cancer – Henrietta Lacks;
- A photographer and film director who became the progenitor of the “blaxploitation” genre of movies – Gordon Parks;
- A professional tennis player with record 23 Grand Slam titles, the most titles in the Open Era, and considered the greatest female tennis player of all time – Serena Williams;
- A physician, surgeon and medical researcher who pioneered large-scale blood banks and advanced research on blood transfusion – Charles R. Drew;
- A literary genius and one of the intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance who later established a school of dramatic arts at then Bethune-Cookman College – Zora Neale Hurston.
Each of the #Undefeated44’s dynamic African Americans is profiled on www.TheUndefeated.com including highlights of their impact and accomplishments. Readers are equally encouraged to share their feedback via the site’s conversation page – YOU GOT 99 WORDS.
“The Undefeated 44” (alphabetically/last names):
The Undefeated is ESPN’s multiplatform content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture. The digital hub, TheUndefeated.com, which launched in May 2016, combines innovative long-form and short-form storytelling, investigation, original reporting and provocative commentary to enlighten and entertain African Americans, as well as sports fans seeking a deeper understanding of black athletes, culture and related issues.
In addition to its cutting-edge content, The Undefeated seeks to be a thought-leader on race, sports and culture in the country – convening insightful forums to discuss and debate topical issues affecting sports and race in America.
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