The 28 Faces of Black Women – Alice Coachman

February marks the celebration of Black History month. As a sorority who believe in “Excellence Through Unity”, it is only fitting that we take the time to present some of the notable women in African-American History.

Each day this month, we will present a short biography on famous, inspiring, and world-changing African-American women throughout history.

Before there was a Dominique Dawns or Gabrielle Douglas, there was Alice Coachman.

Albany State University Alumni Alice Coachman was not only the first African-American woman to win Olympic Gold, but the first female to win a gold medal at the Olympic games.


Raised in the years of segregation, Alice Coachman goal was to become a successful athlete. At the age of 16, Coachman entered the Women’s National Championship and broke the collegiate as well as the National high jump records – barefoot. During her college years in Tuskegee, Alice rain in the 4x10m relay team, who were 1941 and 1942 champions.

In 1946, Coachman left Tuskegee for Albany State College. During this time, Alice was the recipient of 25 national titles.

Alice qualified for the US Olympics Team in 1948 by breaking the high jump record with a jump of 5 feet, 4 inches. While attending the Olympics in London, she succeeded in winning the gold metal in jumping, surpassing British jumper Dorothy Tyler. This Olympic-Gold-Jump of 5 feet 6/18th was the Olympic record until 1956.

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