Master of Ceremonies
Politics and associations aside there are few things more revolutionary than a black man winning “The Masters” golf tournament. Tiger Woods has won the tournament’s coveted green jacket 5 times in three decades. “The Masters” golf tournament dates back to 1934 and is the only major held at the same location every year. Augusta National Golf Club located in Augusta, Georgia didn’t have a black member until 1990, the same year my Grandfather died. My Grandpa like many of his black peers, loved the game of golf, and could never have fathomed that in 1997 a skinny black kid who would’ve been on the outside looking in just a decade before, would not only compete, but win.
Prior to 1975 when Lee Elder broke the color barrier all of the golfers were white and all of the caddies employed by Augusta National were black. Even now due to “The Masters” being invitation only the tournament is significantly more restrictive than many of its counterparts. The tournament with pristine greens deep in the heart of Georgia has white supremacist roots that run deep.
As a teenage phenom Tiger Woods received death threats for playing a sport he loved before he was old enough to ride a bike. He would endure racist jokes, people making startling noises during pivotal moments on the back nine, intense media scrutiny of his personal life and through it all he persisted. Born to a father with Black and Native ancestry and a mother of Asian descent, Woods inspired an entire generation of children of color to reach beyond their limitless potential and turn aspirations into accomplishments.
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