The LPGA is committed to changing the face of golf, making the sport we love more diverse, accessible and inclusive. This month we are proud to share the stories of our Black Tour players, teachers, amateurs and junior golfers as we celebrate Black History Month.
President, Avis Brown-Riley Golf Extravaganza
LPGA.com: What does Black History Month mean to you?
Avis Brown-Riley: It is a time to reflect on the past and build toward the future. I celebrate a culture and a people who made personal sacrifices and contributions to make this country a great place to live. To pay tribute to those who help to lay a foundation, where I can continue to build upon for future generations; like my father, Gordon Brown, Sr. who had to drive 100 miles to play a round of golf, when there was a public golf course 10 minutes from his house. Today, I can play golf at Pebble Beach and other famous golf courses.
Q: Which historical African American has been a source of inspiration in your life (and why)?
A: Mr. Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball Hall of Fame 1962. Despite the odds and his personal safety, he displayed courage, perseverance, inner strength, self-confidence, resilience and strength of character that empowered his generation and future generations. If not for Mr. Jackie Robinson, there would be no Lee Elder, Charlie Sifford, or Tiger Woods.
Q: In the coming years, what role do you see African Americans playing in the golf industry?
A: The same role as everyone else. That is what diversity is all about. It is what our founding fathers intended when they built this country. “We the People”. We the People embrace our shared belonging and demand prosperity for everyone, not just the wealthy few. Together, we stand for a society with equality, justice, and dignity for all.
Q: How do you celebrate/honor Black History Month each year?
A: As an African American and motivational speaker, I celebrate and honor Black History Month each month of the year. I share with all who listen, diversity is a way of life, it’s about our American culture and the people, who have made personal sacrifices and contributions to make this country a great place to live. We stand for and support a society with equality, justice, and dignity for all.
Q: What resources/tools do you recommend for those would like to learn more about Black History? (Movies, documentaries, series, books, podcasts).
A: Black History is more than looking back at the past. We should be looking at today and tomorrow. People of color are living history every day! As Americans, we should exhibit the qualities of dedication, grace under pressure, personal sacrifice, compassion, hope, and dignity that characterize the promotion of human welfare and social reform.