Angela James: Trailblazing Black Hockey Star

Angela James
Emeka Ochiagha
August 20, 2021

Angela James loved the feeling of gliding – of her blades cutting through the ice. She received the hockey puck, rushed over to the opposing team’s goal post, took her shot, and scored! 

She loved hockey – but the sport didn’t love her back.

She always had to fight to continue playing. To get her some play time, James’ mother had placed her on a boy’s hockey team – and she was their best player!

However, in her second year, the league made an official “Boys Only” policy, and she was again excluded.

In addition to the gender discrimination, she also had to deal with racism from other players and hockey facilitators. Sexism AND white supremacy boxed her in – but she didn’t let that stop her. 

She became the leading scorer on her college hockey team, leading them to national championships over and over again!

She wasn’t done after her time as a player. She began to coach other women hockey players, giving them both the rigor and support that was denied to her when she was starting out.

Despite the racist, sexist barriers in her way, James excelled. Her commitment to self-determination is a blueprint for every Black person committed to achieving their dreams.

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