Black Tennis Pro( Althea GIbson)

Discussion in 'Honoring Black Ancestors' started by $$BEAUTY$$, May 2, 2006.

  1. $$BEAUTY$$

    $$BEAUTY$$ Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Apr 30, 2006
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    Before Venus and Serena Stepped on the scene there was Ms. Althea Gibson. Born in Silver, South Carolina on August 25, 1927, Ms. Gibson would soon be The first black To ever win championships at Grand Slam tournaments such as Wimbledon, the French Open, the Australian Doubles and the United States Open in the late 1950s. Entering a sport that was predominately white, Ms Gibson would also have to break the gender barrier. Until about 1950 African American tennis players were not allowed at private tennis country clubs, and were not invited to major international tournaments.

    Altogether, Ms. Gibson Won 56 singles and doubles titles during her amateur career in the 1950s before gaining international and national acclaim for her athletic prowess on the professional level in tennis. Her accomplishments were great; she won 11 major titles in the late 1950s. In 1957 Ms. Gibson Still Achieve for her legacy, she became the first African-American to be voted Female Athlete of Year by the Associated Press. Please make note she did not gain recognition once, but twice also in 1958. She was also the first black woman to appear on the cover of sports illustrated.

    In 1959 she was reported to earn $100,000 just playing matches before Harlem globetrotter games in a six month tour. Because there was no professional Tennis tour in those days Ms. Gibson turned to the Pro Golf Tour for a few years. She became accomplished in yet another sport. She became the first black woman to hold a ladies professional golf association players card and finish in the top 80 percent in three tournaments. All this and during such a time black were still sitting in the back of the bus. It would not be until 1954 that the U.S. Supreme Court would declare racial segregation unconstitutional.

    She gained recognition from Queen Elizabeth II, Vice President Richard Nixon, and Many more. Also in 1959 she recorded the album Althea Sings and appeared in the film The horse soldier. Before in 1958 she wrote I Always wanted to be somebody, and followed a decade later with the book So Much to live for. Her Next endeavors are as follows:
    1971 she was named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame
    1977 she ran, unsuccessfully, for the democratic primary election for New Jersey state senate.
    1980 she was inducted into the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.
    1991 she was received the Theodore Roosevelt award.

    On September 28, 2003 at the age of 76, Althea Gibson died in East Orange General Hospital.

    Through all her great accomplishments, Most of us never heard of her. In school we hear about the same blacks who impacted the world, but are not taught about the many others who have done so much. It is true that the Williams sisters have accomplish so much themselves, but where would they be without those such as Althea Gibson.