Charging the Net: A History of Blacks in Tennis from Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe to the Williams Sisters

Overview

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 ...
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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

Tenessean.Com
An informative read on African-Americans in tennis....The overall impact produces a service ace. Charging the Net should be required reading for anyone concerned about the history of race in sport and the lack of diversity in tennis.
Standard Newswire
Explores the ongoing journey for black tennis players to force open the sport's shuttered gates....packed with historic information.
Black Athlete Sports Network
Worth reading.
Midwest Book Review
Lively presentation blends civil rights issues with tennis....Top pick...for sports libraries [and] collection[s] strong in integration issues.
Inside Tennis
Labor of love...document[s] a rich black tennis experience.
Forecast
Historical account...describes the numerous contributions of and challenges overcome by specific figures.
The Boston Globe - Bud Collins
Before and after Althea Gibson leaped the color bar, blacks were playing tennis—enthusiastically but largely unrecognized. Harris and Kyle-DeBose have done the game a service, deeply exploring the history of the triumphs, pains and pitfalls of the black experience.
Booklist - David Pitt
This volume takes a more comprehensive approach to the subject and...carves a deserving place for itself in tennis literature.
The New York Times
A wide-ranging history, built on more than 65 interviews, that tells in-depth stories about the lives of black tennis stars.
January 2008 CHOICE
the authors weave a well-referenced log of the trials, tribulations, and challenges that have faced young black tennis stars...This is a book for those interested in sports, sport psychology, sport management, African American studies, and, of course, for all who follow tennis. Summing Up: Recommended.
Daily Courier - Chris Howard
Interesting read for all avid sports enthusiasts....The lessons learned here need to stay vibrant in our minds.
CHOICE - M. L. Krotee
The authors weave a well-referenced log of the trials, tribulations, and challenges that have faced young black tennis stars....This is a book for those interested in sports, sport psychology, sport management, African American studies, and, of course, for all who follow tennis....Recommended.
January 2008 Choice
the authors weave a well-referenced log of the trials, tribulations, and challenges that have faced young black tennis stars...This is a book for those interested in sports, sport psychology, sport management, African American studies, and, of course, for all who follow tennis. Summing Up: Recommended.
Forecast
Historical account...describes the numerous contributions of and challenges overcome by specific figures.
The Boston Globe
Before and after Althea Gibson leaped the color bar, blacks were playing tennis--enthusiastically but largely unrecognized. Harris and Kyle-DeBose have done the game a service, deeply exploring the history of the triumphs, pains and pitfalls of the black experience.
—Bud Collins
Booklist
This volume takes a more comprehensive approach to the subject and....carves a deserving place for itself in tennis literature.
—David Pitt
The New York Times Book Review
A wide-ranging history, built on more than 65 interviews, that tells in-depth stories about the lives of black tennis stars.
The Daily Courier
Interesting read for all avid sports enthusiasts....The lessons learned here need to stay vibrant in our minds.
—Chris Howard
School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Even for readers not familiar with the Williams sisters and their impact on tennis, this book could be a real treat. The title says it all. The detailed, yet highly accessible history of blacks in tennis from the 1940s to the present is also the story of the modern game from a new viewpoint. Players from Australia, Africa, and France are included, as well as African Americans. Through extensive research and interviews, the sometimes shameful behavior of the United States Tennis Association and the triumphs and continuous struggle of blacks to achieve equality in the predominantly white, often elitist tennis world are described with passion. This book will appeal to teens interested in black athletes' contributions to sports, in tennis generally, or in sports facts. It is well documented and may be read for pleasure or for assignments. It also portrays new role models for succeeding in sports and in life, while struggling with discrimination.-Deirdre Cerkanowicz, Berkeley Public Library, CA

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566637145
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 7/25/2007
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,456,465
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Table of Contents


Foreword   James Blake     vii
Introduction     3
"There is no African-American culture in tennis"     9
"I'm not going to be who you want me to be"     25
"I'm not giving anything else away"     46
"He was exactly who we needed at the time"     76
"We were the only show in town"     106
"You tell me what the similarity is"     124
"It was as if God handed these two young girls to me"     140
"Tennis is a family sport"     155
"You niggers gotta get off the court"     169
"Nobody called me names on the court, but nobody rooted for me either"     182
"You could play the French Open and never really see Paris"     199
"It's nice not to have to be a fly in milk"     211
"We need you out here"     224
Afterword     237
ATA Singles Champions     239
World-Ranked Black Tennis Players     244
Bibliography     247
Index     257
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