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Google Honors Althea Gibson With Animated Doodle

 
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PurplePhase View Drop Down
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    Posted: Aug 25 2014 at 12:22pm
my almost home girl


https://www.google.com/logos/doodles/2014/althea-gibsons-87th-birthday-5136843129487360-hp.gif




 

Google Doodle Honors Black Tennis Star Althea Gibson


An animated Google Doodle celebrates Althea Gibson as the US Open begins in New York.

Gibson was the first African-American to win the U.S. Nationals and Wimbledon tennis championships

 
    

Althea Gibson was part of a group of players who dominated women's tennis in the 1950s, a time when black athletes had few opportunities to play at all.

Before her, blacks were not welcome in major tournaments – in many cases, they were not even allowed through the front door of the tennis clubs that hosted the events. But Ms. Gibson and her black contemporaries opened up the sport, claiming victories not only for themselves, but for Arthur Ashe, Venus and Serena Williams, and the many black pros that followed. 

Google honored her life and accomplishments with an animated doodle Monday, the 87th anniversary of her birth.
 

Born in 1927, Gibson grew up in New York City. Tennis was not her first love. She preferred ping pong. Her early table tennis victories caught the eye of musician Buddy Walker, who encouraged her trade in her paddle for a real racket. When she was 13, several of Gibson's neighbors pooled their money to pay for a junior membership for her at the Cosmopolitan 

"Althea Gibson and her family literally had to wait until the courts were closed at night to learn the game," says NPR's Scott Simon in an interview with Biography. "In fact, Althea Gibson used to joke that that's what made her develop some of the shots that she did – because she had to kind of know where the lines were. She couldn't count on her eyes telling."

She took to the sport quickly. Within a year, she won her first tournament, an all-black state championship hosted by the American Tennis Association (ATA), a group designed to encourage and promote black athletes. Gibson went on to win two ATA national champions in the girl's division and, later, ten straight ATA national women's titles. Despite this impressive resume, Gibson was locked out of competing in major (white-only) tournaments.

Her big break came in 1950, when four-time US champion Alice Marble publicly chastised her sport for discriminating against top-level black players. "If Althea Gibson represents a challenge to the present crop of players, then it's only fair that they meet this challenge on the courts," Ms. Marble wrote in American Lawn Tennis magazine.

That year, Gibson became the first black player to compete in the US Nationals. Within a few years, she won a Grand Slam title at the French Open, and in 1957 captured Wimbledon.

By the 1960s, Gibson retired from tennis, but continued to claim a series of new athletic firsts. She took up golf and quickly became the first black woman to compete on a pro tour.

In addition to marking Gibson's birthday, Monday brings the opening of the US Open tennis championship in New York. The matches will be held in Arthur Ashe Stadium, named after the first black man to win the US Open in 1968. Mr. Ashe's incredible career – not to mention that of Venus Williams, who will compete in the US Open on Monday – may not have been possible without the work of Gibson.

"I have never regarded myself as a crusader," she wrote in her autobiography, "I Always Wanted to Be Somebody." "I don't consciously beat the drums for any cause, not even the negro in the United States."

Gibson died in October 2003  in East Orange, N.J.



Althea Gibson

Besides making history like Jackie Robinson, Althea Gibson felt the same sting of racism as the baseball pioneer did just a few years before her.





Edited by PurplePhase - Aug 25 2014 at 12:26pm
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PurplePhase View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 25 2014 at 12:23pm
anybody going to the Open?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote whosbotheringme Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 25 2014 at 1:01pm
I go every year.  I love the Open.
 
Happy birthday Ms. Gibson.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 25 2014 at 1:09pm
cool. I haven't been in a few years but my bro goes every year too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ModelessDiva Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 25 2014 at 1:48pm
i saw this

cool!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Az~Maverick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 25 2014 at 1:58pm
That's so cool! Heart

Hey Who!!!! *waves* Big smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote whosbotheringme Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 25 2014 at 2:48pm
AZ!!!!  (((((big hug)))))Heart
 
 
I can't wait to go, I hope Gael Monfils is playing the night that I go. 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 25 2014 at 3:52pm
do you play Whos?
my bro does/used to and he was always dragging me around to the different tourneys. He's going alone this year.
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