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Koritha Mitchell

educator and playwright, was born Myrtle Athleen Smith in Holly Grove, Arkansas, to Lula C. (Hall) and Isaac Samuel Smith. Myrtle attended Manual High School from 1916 to 1920, and studied pharmacy at Howard University in Washington, D.C., from 1920 to 1922. She began attending Colorado Teacher's College in 1923, earning a teaching certificate in 1924 before marrying the physician William McKinley Livingston on 25 June 1925. She left Colorado Teacher's College in 1926 and was hired in 1929 as a physical education instructor by Lincoln University, a historically black college in Jefferson City, Missouri. While at Lincoln, she taught every level of physical education and health and established a formal athletic program for female students, enabling young Lincoln women to participate in organized, competitive sports for the first time. Livingston was a well-respected teacher at Lincoln University for forty-four years, retiring in 1972 ...


Claranne Perkins

basketball coach, was born Charlaine Vivian Stoner in Edenborn, Pennsylvania, the oldest of six children of Charles “Buddy” Stoner, a coal miner by day and a talented jazz musician on weekends, and Thelma “Bird” Stoner. Siblings included Verna, Tim, Madeline, Richelle “Ricky,” and Jack.

Stringer was named Charlaine after her father; she states in her memoir, “it's so much of a boy's name, which is why I never use it. Not that it matters—these days; pretty much everyone assumes that the C stands for Coach” (Stringer, p. 36). As a young girl in Edenborn, Stringer spent a lot of time playing football and basketball with the boys and playing softball. “I always just wanted to play,” Stringer said. “Playing for the sake of playing was enough for me” (Stringer, p. 29).

Since there were no girls teams in her high school Stringer decided to ...


Joan S. Hult

Stringer is the most significant black basketball coach in the history of the women’s game. In 2001, she became one of the first black women inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Equally as impressive, Sports Illustrated recognized her in 2003 as one of the “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports.” From the 1980s into the early twenty-first century, Stringer was committed to breaking gender and race-related barriers. Her leadership and the respect she commanded as an exceptionally talented coach enabled her to become the first black woman head coach of a United States national women’s basketball team. Her squad won a bronze medal in the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba. She successfully coached the 1989 U S World Championship zone qualification team Leading three different programs from obscurity to national prominence in her three decades as a head coach she is the only coach ...