It was an average June morning in 1971 at Thistledown Race Track in North Randall, Ohio, when an average bay filly named Ace Reward broke from the gate. But still, the stands were packed, and the finish line bristled with news crews.

Sitting astride Ace Reward was Cheryl White, who soon would become the country’s first ever licensed Black female jockey, in her first official race. After an ambitious sprint, the filly finished dead last. The crowd roared anyway.

White was on her way to making history. And she was a 17-year-old girl. Read More