A Gary Corbitt thought on Running While Black

“Running While Black”

By Alison Mariella Desir

This is an important book because it’s the first time the sport of long-distance running is being critiqued from an African American perspective. Alison’s goal is to disrupt the running industry and advocate for racial justice. My father’s (Ted Corbitt) influence on the sport and my work to preserve running history is profiled in Chapter 12.

The book gives readers the facts on the influence the New York Pioneer Club (NYPC) has had on the sport, and how Black running history has been ignored over the years. Readers will also gain an understanding that Black athletic achievements in running date back to the 1880s.

A story that saddened me was to learn the reaction of Aliphine Tuliamuk after she viewed television coverage of her historic victory in the Women 2020 Olympic Marathon trials. History was made by both Aliphine and Sally Kipyego as they became the first African American women to make the Olympic team in the marathon. Aliphine after watching the coverage said the following:

“I cried the first time I watched the replay. I felt uncelebrated, like I wasn’t even visible.”

I recommend everyone in the running community read this story.

Best New Year Wishes!
Gary Corbitt
Curator: Ted Corbitt Archives
Historian: National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA)

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