My husband loves tennis and just recently joined a tennis team at work, prompting the purchase of some new shoes and the restringing of an old racket. This great post about Althea Gibson, who was posthumously inducted into the US Open Court of Champions on August 15, at Beautiful, Also, Are the Souls of My Black Sisters is thus very timely in a personal way:
Althea was an American sportswoman who became the first black American woman to be a competitor on the world tennis tour and the first to win a ‘grand slam’ title in 1957. She is sometimes referred to as “the Jackie Robinson of tennis”. Only three years after Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, Althea did the same thing when she was admitted to the 1950 U.S. Nationals. She went on to make history at several major tournaments capturing the French Championships in 1956, and Wimbledon in 1957, and returned to a ticker-tape parade upon returning to New York, and an official welcome at New York City Hall. She responded by winning the U.S. Championships. For her accomplishments that year, Althea earned the No. 1 ranking in the world.