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Recently, a group of African American women got together to discuss discuss gender and race as it relates to the Title IX anniversary. The women, who were all involved in athletics, met in Harlem at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The topic was “What’s Not Being Said About the Title IX Anniversary.”
This month marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX of the Education Amendments becoming law. On June 23, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon signed into law the statute known as Title IX, which declared, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
This legislation has been monumental in women’s and girls’ sports participation. But the focus of Title IX has been gender equity, not racial equity in women’s sports. The most glaring outcome of the legislation is that white women — as athletes and administrators — have been the overwhelming beneficiaries.