Alice Coachman was the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal. Coachman’s medal was awarded at the 1948 Olympic Games in London where she leapt 5 feet 6 ⅛ inches to win first place in the high jump.
Even though Coachman was celebrated for her win with motorcade parades, she still faced segregation in the South.
In 1952, Coachman became the first Black woman to endorse an international product. Coca-Cola hired her to become a spokesperson for the brand.
“My father wanted me to be more like a young lady and sit on the porch. But I would go out back and jump over the fence and straight down the street where they were playing ball.”