Six years ago, Gina Stewart had a vision to create a women's softball team to provide an outlet for African American women athletes and spectators. Gina elicited assistance from BLACKlines (which ran an ad for players and provided partial sponsorship), and Anita Whiteside who has been the nucleus of the team and its only coach. Anita's leadership and coaching skills earned her MSA's Coach Of The Year for 2002.
It was decided that first and above everything else, the team's foundation would be built with spiritual awareness and diversity. The team prayer before each game is centered on being thankful for being proud, courageous, and a team of one on and off the field. Not winning or losing.
The next step was naming the team. This team of one had to have a name that would reflect a higher level of African American existence. This name would serve as a constant reminder to always strive for a higher level of consciousness, hence the creation of the Nubians.
The vision became a reality in 1998 as the Nubians women's softball team emerged anchored by players who not only believed in the vision but accepted the challenges and commitment that were to follow to keep the vision alive. Founding players such as Scythell Crouse, Yvette Holt, Natalie Huston, Denise Robinson, Chiquita Thomas, and Berna Whiteside, as well as Gina Stewart and Anita Whiteside have kept the vision alive.
The team also wanted to destroy the barriers that are constructed based on ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. The Nubians have become known for their camaraderie and support of all league teams and players. Win or lose, the Nubians cheer, during and after the games of all teams. The excitement and melting pot of diversity among spectators are what the Nubians have brought to the league. The league voted the Nubians of 2002 as the team with the most spirit.
Although the Nubians are the first and only all-African American team to compete in the league, for six consecutive years and sponsored by an African American business (The New Swingers Lounge), their intent is not to discriminate, but to create cohesiveness among African American men and women .
On June 22, this team qualified to participate in the NAGAAA World Series in Washington, D.C. Aug. 18-23. Monetary donations are needed and will be proudly accepted. Please send all donations to Nubians Softball Team in care of Blacklines, checks payable to Gina Stewart. Please send all well wishes, inquiries, comments, or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Anita Whiteside (773) 235-9352.
They held a meet-and-greet the end of July and will hold additional fundraisers. Call for details.