1001 Black Men–#246

Today’s drawing is a tribute to that rare sort (though somewhat less rare than when I was in school), the African American who rows on the college crew. Today I came across an article about Aquil Abdullah, the history-making Black rower who became the first African American to win at Britain’s Henley Regatta and the first African American on the U.S. Olympic crew. Reading about him made be think back to my undergraduate years. No, I didn’t row. I was too short to even try out for the women’s team, and I was too tall and too heavy to be a coxswain for the men’s team. I quickly discovered another sport, rugby, and I remain an avid fan of men’s and women’s rugby at all levels, both collegiate and professional. Still, I’ve always felt a significant degree of admiration for the men and women who row. Back in college, the strict training rules and intense workouts, even during the coldest months of the year, demanded a level of dedication that was hard not to admire. Here’s hoping that in the next Olympics, there are a least a couple more Black men and women competing in this sport. If it doesn’t conflict with any important rugby matches, I’ll be watching.


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