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Althea Gibson in 1950 at her first national tennis championship.

Althea Gibson

Light the birthday candles! Born on August 25, 1927, Althea Gibson would have been 87 today. In 1950, Althea became the first African American tennis player invited to the U.S. Open and in 1956 became the first African American to win a Grand Slam event at the French Open. Although she grew up in New York City, Gibson was born in rural Clarendon County. According to the 1930 Census Althea was living in Manhattan with her Aunt Sallie, while her parents, Daniel and Annie B. with sister Mildred, were still living In Calvary, SC.

This image is from South Carolina Historical Newspapers digital collection. It was published in The State on August 26, 1950. South Carolina Digital Newspapers includes The State from 1891-1985 and is available 24/7 to any Richland Library card holder.

Althea Gibson by Tom Biracree
Amazon Says: -- Profiles the lives and careers of American women whose accomplishments have contributed to our society-- Fully illustrated with photographs and paintings more...
Amazon Says: -- Profiles the lives and careers of American women whose accomplishments have contributed to our society-- Fully illustrated with photographs and paintings less...
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Amazon Says: On Althea Gibson, America's first African American tennis champion: 'I am grateful to Althea Gibson for having the strength and courage to break through the racial barriers in more...
Amazon Says: On Althea Gibson, America's first African American tennis champion: 'I am grateful to Althea Gibson for having the strength and courage to break through the racial barriers in tennis. She knocked down walls that gave us more freedom to concentrate on the game...Althea's accomplishments set the stage for my success, but she also made a difference for people of all backgrounds in all areas. Through beneficiaries like me, Serena, and many others to come, her legacy will live on' - Venus Williams. 'She just meant so much to me. I've always felt connected to her and thankful and grateful for what she's done for people of color and me' - Billie Jean King. 'Althea built many bridges over her seventy-six years on this earth to ease our crossing...She fought the good fight, she finished her course, she kept her faith, and she can rest - game, set, and match' - David Dinkins, former mayor of New York City. 'It was the quiet dignity with which Althea carried herself during the turbulent days of the 1950s that was truly remarkable...When she began playing, less than five percent of tennis newcomers were minorities. Today, some thirty percent are minorities, two-thirds of whom are African American. This is her legacy' - Alan Schwartz President, U.S. Tennis Association. less...
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Amazon Says: Althea Gibson first met Angela Buxton at an exhibition match in India. On the surface, the two women could not have been more different. The daughter of sharecroppers, Gibson more...
Amazon Says: Althea Gibson first met Angela Buxton at an exhibition match in India. On the surface, the two women could not have been more different. The daughter of sharecroppers, Gibson was born in the American South and grew up in Harlem. Angela Buxton, the granddaughter of Russian Jews, was raised in England, where her father ran a successful business. But both women encountered prejudice, particularly on the tennis circuit, where they were excluded from tournaments and clubs because of race and religion.Despite their athletic prowess, both Gibson and Buxton were shunned by the other female players at Wimbledon in 1956 and found themselves without doubles partners. Undaunted, they chose to play together and ultimately triumphed. In The Match, which has been hailed as an "important contribution in spreading the legacy of Gibson,"* Bruce Schoenfeld delivers not only the little-known history of Gibson's life but also the inspiring story of two underdogs who refused to let bigotry stop them -- on the court and off. Here, too, is an homage to a remarkable friendship.*Publishers Weekly less...
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Amazon Says: With every powerful serve and deft ground stroke, with every graceful volley and determined charge to the net, black tennis players, from Hall of Famers Althea Gibson, Arthur more...
Amazon Says: With every powerful serve and deft ground stroke, with every graceful volley and determined charge to the net, black tennis players, from Hall of Famers Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, Evonne Goolagong, and Yannick Noah to future legends James Blake and the sisters Venus and Serena Williams, have forced open the sport's shuttered gates and demanded to be acknowledged. In Charging the Net, Cecil Harris and Larryette Kyle-DeBose draw on personal interviews and extensive research to chronicle the triumphs-and humiliations-of blacks in professional tennis from the 1940s to the present. For many fans and writers, Ashe, Gibson, and the Williams sisters personify black achievement in tennis, but others have made their mark. Charging the Net spotlights a wide range of competitors as well as the American Tennis Association, an organization that thrived despite racial segregation, thanks to such benefactors as Dr. R. Walter Johnson. The book will also introduce readers to two black officials whose success was short-lived; both have sued the United States Tennis Association, alleging discrimination based on race, gender, and age. Harlem-trained, Harvard-educated James Blake, who overcame career-threatening injuries to achieve World Top Ten status, has written a foreword to Charging the Net. The afterword is written by Robert Ryland, the first black to compete in a major college tournament, who later found the doors to tennis's premier venues marked Whites Only. With a clear vision, Ryland, the eighty-six-year-old coach, now looks at how far blacks in tennis have come and how far they have yet to travel. less...
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Amazon Says: In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long more...
Amazon Says: In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves. With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic. less...
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