African-Americans have been fighting for equality since they were brought to the United States as slaves in the early 16th century.
And with the evolution of sports, Black athletes have endured their fair share of oppression as well.
Facing insurmountable odds, Black athletes have stared down the barrel, taking each challenge head on to become heavyweight champions, Olympic gold medalists, league MVPs and record-setters.
When you think of Black sports pioneers, most people often start with Jackie Robinson. While Robinson was a central figure in the fight for equal rights, there were many trailblazers who came before him who paved the way for future generations.
In the first video of a four-part Black History Month series, The Sporting News takes a look at the Black athletes who became pioneers, breaking down barriers and laying the foundation for integration and equality in sports for future generations.
Click the player above to view the video.