A retrospective on Althea Gibson

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In this poignant retrospective by Richard Evans he reflects on Althea Gibson’s legacy as the first African American to win a Grand Slam title and the significance of this achievement within the context of 1950s race relations in American Society. A critical trailblazer for Arthur Ashe, he acknowledged, “I had a few issues… but Althea had it far worse. She faced discrimination at every turn.” Evans comments on the challenges Gibson faced and the supportive influence of players such as Alice Marble and Angela Buxton. Upon hearing that Althea Gibson was denied entry into the U.S. Championships at Forest Hills despite deserving it on merit, Alice Marble publicly stated, “If tennis is a game of ladies and gentlemen, it is also time we started acting more like gentlepeople and less like sanctimonious hypocrites. If Althea Gibson represents a challenge to the present crop of women players, it is only fair that they should meet that challenge on the courts.” Read the full article here.

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