SISTERS IN ARMS: Where are the African American Female Sharp Shooters?

I'm sure you are aware by now that women carrying guns have increased in the last few years at an alarming rate despite what some individuals (particularly men) who seem to think the hype will eventually pass due to the stereotypical thought process that "a woman's place is in the home". Well men, I would like to let you in on a little secret, those days are long gone and times have changed. 


Women have become more independent and less dependent on their spouses. Women are now bring home the "meat and potatoes" rather than just the "eggs and milk". Women are now in high-profile positions at major corporations (i.e. CEO's and Presidents, CFO's) and other positions where it custom to being "a man's job" (engineers, truck drivers, mechanics, construction workers, architects, surgeons even astronauts). 


But I won't bore you with those simple everyday tasks; let's get into something both women and men have a passion for, shooting a gun. Those of you who have experienced this awesome rush of holding such amazing power between your hands and all it takes to release it is a slight movement of your index finger, "BOOM"! Once you hear that sound, you're hooked from that moment on. 


During earlier years it was systematic that a woman always looked to her husband to be the protector of the home and family; not anymore, women have joined to stand by their man's side and help protect her family as well as herself because her husband or boyfriend won't be around 24/7 so she has to learn how to defend herself in this cruel world we live in and its going to get worse. 


As the wars continue overseas and in our own cities and towns, there have been a multitude of women who have began to exercise their 2nd Amendment right. Hence, I'm sure when the Constitution was written the Founding Fathers had no idea when they included the words "every citizen" that it also meant people not of their skin color but also women. 


As I mentioned earlier, women are playing a huge part in assisting with protecting their families as well as for the love of the sport. Speaking of sport, every since women have came into the Gun Game, there has been quite a few who have stepped up to the plate and dusted off their shoulders. As a woman, you know when you get a man checking out your shooting skills at the range and he gives you that nod or the thumbs up, you know you have attained his respect as well he also knows not to piss you off! 


There are a couple of women Sharp Shooters whom I admire, number one is Tori Nonaka and the others are Jana Reed and Michelle Viscusi; when you have a moment take a look at their videos; the adrenaline will get you pumped and you'll want to head out to the gun range. There have been quite a few famous gun-toting women in history who weren't afraid to stand up and use a gun, especially back in the days of the Wild West. 


During that era, there were Sharp Shooters such as Annie Oakley, then you had some women who were outlaws i.e. Poker Alice, Belle Star and Calamity Jane. Those women made a reputation in history for themselves. However, what about the other women that history doesn't talk about due to the color of their skin?  


Yes, there were African American women in the Old West who also weren't afraid to pick up a gun and use it. The difference between the White Women and Black Women back then using a gun was not because they were bored and needed excitement in their lives, it was a way of survival. These women came from Slavery and had to fight oppression in two categories:


For being BLACK

For being a WOMAN


Mary Fields (AKA Stagecoach Mary / Black Mary)


Women such as Mary Fields (AKA Stagecoach Mary / Black Mary) who was the first African American woman who delivered mail for the USPS and Wells Fargo stagecoach and carried a .38 revolver and a shotgun and she wasn't afraid to get into a brawl with a White Man.

Annie Neal (AKA The Black Cherokee Princess) 


Also Elvira Conley (could not find pictures) and Annie Neal (AKA The Black Cherokee Princess) who was a dead shot with her Long Tom rifle and last but not least, Cathay Williams. 

Cathay Wiliam First Female Buffalo Soldier


Cathay Williams was the first African American woman to enlist in the Military as a Buffalo Soldier! Some of you may ask, how was she able to do that when women weren't even allowed in the Military? Cathay Williams disguised herself as a man and got away with it for two years until she had to go see the Doctor and we all know why she had yo see the Doctor. From that moment her secret wasn't a secret anymore.


When the Army found out that day, Ms. Williams was discharged for illegal enlistment. Ms. Williams left the Army quietly without her pension, so the next time you pay honor to those in the military, don't forget about her, the first woman bit most importantly, the first African American woman who paved the way for those in the military today. 


One piece that touched me though is you don't see any African American women in this sport. Yes, we have women who are able to shoot a gun because of their profession (Police Officer, Military) or because Daddy taught them when they were little. But ask yourself, "Where are the African American female Sharp Shooters and why have they not been pushed to become apart of this sport?" 


My sistah's, we need to stand up and get it done just like the others have done. We can all become Sharp Shooters in this sport as well. Now, whose going to be the first African American female Sharp Shooter? Slide forward, hammer down, and holster!






Cathy Hodges's is a true shooter,

supporter of Urban Sharp Shooters,

Sisters In Arms and a champion of

empowering women through the shooting sports.


She can be reached at:

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