The life of Althea Gibson. a dominant tennis participant in the 50s. was filled with successes that influenced the engagement of African Americans in tennis. every bit good as taking the manner for female tennis participants by being the first black. male or female. to win a Grand Slam rubric. Althea was born on August 25. 1927 in Silver. South Carolina. but was raised in Harlem where she had a less than deluxe life. For diversion. Althea began playing table tennis at a immature age.
Buddy Walker. a musician. noticed Althea’s involvement in the game and introduced her to tennis at the Harlem River Tennis Courts. An active member in the tennis community named Dr. Walter Johnson besides noticed Althea and invested his clip and money into assisting with her preparation. Dr. Johnson put Althea into better competitions. every bit good as puting up contacts with the USTA to present her to the recognized tennis scene. In 1942. Althea entered and won her first tourney that was sponsored by the all-black African Tennis Association.
Four old ages subsequently she moved to North Carolina to have tennis preparation. and in 1947 she won the first of 10 back-to-back ATA women’s singles titles. Until 1950. Althea and other African American tennis participants were merely allowed to play in the ATA and could non vie against any white participants. However. Althea was eventually given the chance in 1950 to play in the Forest Hills National Grass Court Championship in New York. the first African American participant of either sex to be allowed to come in.
One twelvemonth subsequently she became the first African American to be invited to Wimbledon. the All-England Championships. These two tourneies would be the foundation for Althea’s uninterrupted growing in the athletics of tennis. She played in many more big tourneies and in 1956 she struck large at the Gallic Open by taking place the gold. It merely got better for Althea because in 1957 she won both singles and doubles at Wimbledon. every bit good as the US National Tennis Championships at Forest Hill.
In 1958 she did it all over once more by taking place the rubric for the 2nd clip in both Wimbledon and Forest Hill. These rubrics were among the most admirable in Althea’s calling. Her successes as an African American tennis participant were particularly exceeding because she was a adult female. Woman had to confront their ain battles to do their manner into athleticss. nevertheless. Althea managed to force in front of all work forces every bit good as Whites in tennis.
I find it genuinely unbelievable that she overcame two types of segregation. particularly uring a clip where bias and racism were prevailing in society. Althea Gibson was one of the most important African American jocks of her clip because of her strength and calm through a clip of racial bias. Althea helped pave the manner for some of the greatest jocks in tennis such as Venus and Serena Williams and Arthur Ashe. She remains a hero to African Americans. adult female. and to people in the tennis community.