Meet James Black, One of Golf's Finest Role Models

James Black is anything but your average professional golfer. From his humble beginnings as a caddie in North Carolina, the 72-year-old arrived on the professional scene at a time when the PGA was still fighting hard to maintain their all-white status. It had been years since the Supreme Court outlawed segregation, but golf—and many other sports for that matter—was rife with white hostility and racist rules.

By all accounts, James had every reason to be bitter with the game. But instead of sitting back and watching his dreams dissolve into golf's cesspool of racist, classist intolerance, he became actively involved in disrupting the game's status quo with a big heart and humble attitude. Throughout his long, successful career, James has given so much to the game of golf. He was a member of the first class inducted into the National Black Golf Hall of Fame in 1986 and was recently honored along with others in an exhibit of African-Americans in golf at the World Golf Hall of Fame. He has since dedicated his career to giving back to the youth, making kids aware of educational and career opportunities.

"Out of whatever I have taken in life that is behind me, that is what I'm giving back," he said. "That is the bottom line. I am giving back. And I'm blessed to be able to give back."

Recently, we were honored to spend the day with James. Among many other things, we talked about life, family, friendship, and, of course, the wonderful game of golf.

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