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Althea | Clip

When Tennis Clubs Didn’t Allow Black or Jewish Members


In the 1950s Althea Gibson was one of the country’s best tennis players but because of her race, she wouldn’t be granted membership to most tennis clubs. Though race concerned the tennis world, it didn’t concern Gibson as much. According to Arvelia Myers, Althea Gibson’s friend and tennis professional, and tennis champion Billie Jean King, Gibson just wanted the right to play and compete. According to King, Althea Gibson did not use tennis as a platform to promote other causes, as tennis pros Arthur Ashe and Billie Jean King did.