On Althea Gibson, America's first African American tennis champion:
"I am grateful to Althea Gibson for having the strength and courage to break through the racial barriers in tennis. She knocked down walls that gave us more freedom to concentrate on the game. . . . Althea's accomplishments set the stage for my success, but she also made a difference for people of all backgrounds in all areas. Through beneficiaries like me, Serena, and many others to come, her legacy will live on."
"She just meant so much to me. I've always felt connected to her and thankful and grateful for what she's done for people of color and me."
-Billie Jean King
"Althea built many bridges over her seventy-six years on this earth to ease our crossing. . . . She fought the good fight, she finished her course, she kept her faith, and she can rest-game, set, and match."
-David Dinkins former mayor of New York City
"It was the quiet dignity with which Althea carried herself during the turbulent days of the 1950s that was truly remarkable. . . . When she began playing, less than five percent of tennis newcomers were minorities. Today, some thirty percent are minorities, two-thirds of whom are African American. This is her legacy."
President, U.S. Tennis Association
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About the Author
FRANCES CLAYTON GRAY is the cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of the Althea Gibson Foundation. As Gibson’s confidante and caretaker, she came to be viewed as the daughter Gibson never had. Gray has occupied a number of roles in the state of New Jersey, including businesswoman, community leader, and professor.
YANICK RICE LAMB is an award-winning journalist and author. She is the founding editor of BET Weekend magazine and has also served as editor in chief of Heart & Soul magazine, editor at large of Essence magazine, and as an editor at the New York Times. Lamb has written for numerous publications, including Emerge, and teaches journalism at Howard University.