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Black History NJ: Joetta Clark Diggs

Joetta Clark was born on August 1, 1962 in East Orange, New Jersey; she subsequently grew up in Newark. As a child, she experienced riots and a number of other difficulties in her hometown, but through such adversity forged a will to succeed.

Clark Diggs attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and graduated with a degree in public relations. During her time in college, she was coached by both Terry Crawford and her brother J.J. Clark, and won nine collegiate titles.

After college, Clark Diggs became a track & field champion, running for nearly 25 consecutive years and never missing an indoor or outdoor season. She typically raced in the 800 meter and 1,500 meter competitions, and became a 4-time Olympian, representing the United States of America at the 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000 Olympic games.

Hometown Hero

In 1996, Clark Diggs earned acknowledgement as a Sports Illustrated Hometown Hero; Then in 1997, the Governor appointed her one of the eight commissioners of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. Through this position, she was able to help ensure the Meadowlands Sports Complex continued to function; operating as a national model for sports, racing entertainment, and exposition industries.

Clark Diggs, JoettaIn addition, Clark Diggs is married to a man named Ronald Diggs, and the couple have a daughter named Talitha LaNae Clark Diggs. Talitha is currently following in her mother’s footsteps, excelling at track & field in national competitions.

Joetta Clark Diggs received numerous honors and achievements throughout her prolific career. Moreover, she is a phenomenal athlete and an outstanding individual of the community. After retiring from running, Clark Diggs became a motivational speaker, inspiring countless people throughout the country.

Finally, in 2002, she established the Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation “to promote involvement with physical activities for girls and boys in grades K-12.” The foundation promotes good health and positive work ethics, and assists in aiding a myriad of children every day. The New Jersey-native has had an incredible career, demonstrating extraordinary athletic abilities and helping communities throughout the nation.

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