Zaila Avant-garde, 14, becomes first African-American to win Spelling Bee
After winning several Guinness World Records for dribbling multiple basketballs at a time, 14-year-old Zaila Avant-garde becomes the first Black contestant to win the 90-year-old Scripps National Spelling Bee competition by correctly spelling 'Murraya'
Updated on Jul 09, 2021 08:00 AM IST
Zaila Avant-garde, 14, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday by correctly spelling Murraya, a genus of plants, becoming the first African American to win the 90-year-old competition, which was cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Also an accomplished basketball player who holds several Guinness World Records for dribbling multiple basketballs at a time, Avant-garde, from New Orleans, is the first Black contestant to win since Jody-Anne Maxwell of Jamaica in 1998. Maxwell was also the first winner from outside the United States.