Arthur Ashe: Tennis and Justice in the Civil Rights Era by Eric Allen Hall

By Eric Allen Hall

Arthur Ashe explains how this iconic African American tennis participant overcame racial and sophistication limitations to arrive the pinnacle of the tennis global within the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies. yet extra very important, it follows Ashe’s evolution as an activist who needed to cope with the shift from civil rights to Black strength. Off the courtroom, and within the area of foreign politics, Ashe located himself on the heart of the black freedom stream, negotiating the poles of black nationalism and assimilation into white society. Fiercely autonomous and protecting of his public photo, he navigated the skinny line among conservatives and liberals, reactionaries and radicals, the activities institution and the black cause.

Eric Allen Hall’s paintings examines Ashe’s existence as a fight opposed to adversity but in addition a negotiation among the comforts―perhaps requirements―of tennis-star prestige and the felt legal responsibility to protest the discriminatory limitations the white international built to maintain black humans "in their place."

Drawing on insurance of Ashe’s athletic profession and social activism in household and overseas courses, data together with the Ashe Papers, and quite a few released memoirs and interviews, corridor has created an intimate, nuanced portrait of an excellent athlete who stood on the crossroads of activities and equivalent justice.

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Extra resources for Arthur Ashe: Tennis and Justice in the Civil Rights Era

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At the tournament, Morgan spoke to Dr. Johnson about the possibility of Ashe’s attending UCLA in the fall of 1961. Both men agreed that California would be an ideal place for him to grow as both a player and a person. Several years after their discussion, during Christmas break, Ashe received a phone call from Morgan offering him a tennis scholarship to play at UCLA. Rejecting offers from Harvard, Michigan, Michigan State, Arizona, and a number of historically black colleges, he accepted Morgan’s offer before the coach could finish his sales pitch.

Before graduating to a tennis racquet, each player had to show proficiency with a broom handle, a drill intended to improve hand-eye coordination. With the racquet, the young men served fifty times a day from all spots on the court. “We had daily contests,” Ashe remembered, “to see who could hit the most forehands without making an error, the most forehand returns of serve, deep forehand shots, forehand approach shots and forehand passing shots. ” After dinner the participants retired to the basement, where they watched film of tennis matches and read old manuals and magazines.

In 1958 he entered the all-black Maggie Walker High School, joined the tennis team, and dominated the competition. David Lash, head tennis coach at Carver High School in Durham, North Carolina, marveled at Ashe’s abilities and attitude: “He couldn’t have weighed more than 80 pounds,” Lash recalled. “But he loved to play. As soon as he finished his match he would find a good grassy spot and read a book. ’ Some boys didn’t want to play many times a day, but Arthur did. ”59 Ashe’s remarkable success on the court, however, did not lead to acceptance in white tennis circles.

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