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Blake Bolden Is the First Black Woman to Play Professional Ice Hockey

Black Women in Sports

Blake Bolden Is the First Black Woman to Play Professional Ice Hockey

By Imani Bashir via

“I was the only girl on the team, and the only Black person overall, so I had to push through.”

At the age of 25, Bolden became the first Black woman to play professional ice hockey, with her debut in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). Since then, Bolden has become a three-time NWHL All-Star and 2019’s NWHL Defensive Player of the Year. She also holds the honor of having the fastest slapshot in the game,

a move in which a player strikes the puck in a sharp, sweeping motion. After playing for the Boston Pride, the Buffalo Beauts, and Switzerland’s HC Lugano, the 29-year-old now applies her acumen as a full-time hockey scout for the Los Angeles Kings.

Bolden’s path to athletic stardom was unusual, especially compared …

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Black Butterfly Beautiful”

The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

Similarly, there is no one ideal image of a black woman -- each is gorgeous in her right. All African-Americans share a glorious history of struggle and perseverance that has funneled into the modern black renaissance. And, like the graceful butterfly, the awakened black woman exemplifies the dazzling beauty of that cultural evolution.

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