Presents the life and accomplishments of the African American athlete and social activist who overcame racial prejudices and segregation to break into the world of tennis.
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK A “thoroughly captivating biography” (The San Francisco Chronicle) of American icon Arthur Ashe—the Jackie Robinson of men’s tennis—a pioneering athlete who, after breaking the color barrier, went on to become an influential civil rights activist and public intellectual. Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1943, by the age of eleven, Arthur Ashe was one of the state’s most talented black tennis players. He became the first African American to play for the US Davis Cup team in 1963, and two years later he won the NCAA singles championship. In 1968, he rose to a number one national ranking. Turning professional in 1969, he soon became one of the world’s most successful tennis stars, winning the Australian Open in 1970 and Wimbledon in 1975. After retiring in 1980, he served four years as the US Davis Cup captain and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1985. In this “deep, detailed, thoughtful chronicle” (The New York Times Book Review), Raymond Arsenault chronicles Ashe’s rise to stardom on the court. But much of the book explores his off-court career as a human rights activist, philanthropist, broadcaster, writer, businessman, and celebrity. In the 1970s and 1980s, Ashe gained renown as an advocate for sportsmanship, education, racial equality, and the elimination of apartheid in South Africa. But from 1979 on, he was forced to deal with a serious heart condition that led to multiple surgeries and blood transfusions, one of which left him HIV-positive. After devoting the last ten months of his life to AIDS activism, Ashe died in February 1993 at the age of forty-nine, leaving an inspiring legacy of dignity, integrity, and active citizenship. Based on prodigious research, including more than one hundred interviews, Arthur Ashe puts Ashe in the context of both his time and the long struggle of African-American athletes seeking equal opportunity and respect, and “will serve as the standard work on Ashe for some time” (Library Journal, starred review).
Arthur Ashe explains how this iconic African American tennis player overcame racial and class barriers to reach the top of the tennis world in the 1960s and 1970s. But more important, it follows Ashe’s evolution as an activist who had to contend with the shift from civil rights to Black Power. Off the court, and in the arena of international politics, Ashe positioned himself at the center of the black freedom movement, negotiating the poles of black nationalism and assimilation into white society. Fiercely independent and protective of his public image, he navigated the thin line between conservatives and liberals, reactionaries and radicals, the sports establishment and the black cause. Eric Allen Hall’s work examines Ashe’s life as a struggle against adversity but also a negotiation between the comfortsâ€”perhaps requirementsâ€”of tennis-star status and the felt obligation to protest the discriminatory barriers the white world constructed to keep black people "in their place." Drawing on coverage of Ashe’s athletic career and social activism in domestic and international publications, archives including the Ashe Papers, and a variety of published memoirs and interviews, Hall has created an intimate, nuanced portrait of a great athlete who stood at the crossroads of sports and equal justice.
Traces the tennis career of Arthur Ashe and describes the discrimination he faced as he worked to master "the white man's game."
"Touching and courageous...All of it--the man, the life, the book--is rare and beautiful." COSMOPOLITAN DAYS OF GRACE is an inspiring memoir of a remarkable man who was the true embodiment of courage, elegance, and the spirit to fight: Arthur Ashe--tennis champion, social activist, and person with AIDS. Frank, revealing, touching--DAYS OF GRACE is the story of a man felled to soon. It remains as his legacy to us all.... AN ALTERNATE SELECTION OF THE BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB From the Paperback edition.
A diary record of the professional tennis star's thoughts and activities during one year of world travel and competition, covers championship matches, world politics, personal opinions, and fellow tennis players
Barriers have existed to deny people the chance to compete athletically based on their race, ethnic background, or sex. Some athletes, through their courage and class, have broken down the barriers that have afflicted our society, and sometimes affected greater social change. Althea Gibson integrated tennis competition at its highest levels, and Arthur Ashe used his success to challenge racism and apartheid, and later to raise AIDS awareness.
A man of many firsts, Ashe was the first black to compete on the US Davis Cup Team, first black US National men's singles champion, US National Open Champion, and the first black male to win the Wimbledon singles in England.
Recounts the life and accomplishments of the celebrated tennis player, coach, author, and activist.