While much has been written about black triumphs in boxing, baseball, and other sports, little has been said of similar accomplishments in tennis. In this book, the first is the first volume dedicated to that subject, Sundiata Djata more than cites facts and figures, he explores obstacles to such performance such as the discrimination that kept blacks out of pro tennis for decades. He examines the role that this white sport traditionally played in the black community. And he provides keen insights into the politics of professional sports and the challenges faced by today’s black players.
Drawing on original and published interviews, life writings, and newspaper articles, the author offers an in-depth look at black participation in tennis: from the first courts in Tuskegee in 1880, to players Reginald Weir and Gerald Norman, Jr., who challenged racism in the U. S. Lawn Tennis Association in the 1920s; from Harlem teen Bob Ryland’s historic match with two white women in 1944 to the achievements of acclaimed later stars like Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, Yannick Noah, and Venus and Serena Williams.
Thoroughly researched and comprehensive in scope, the work’s eventual two volumes will cover identity and black tennis in aboriginal Australia, North and South Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas. it is an ideal read for tennis players, sports historians, readers of black history and/or black sports figures, and all who are interested in the sport.
1. The American Tennis Association and the Early Years
2. Althea Gibson: "The Jackie Robinson of Tennis"
3. Arthur Ashe: Citizen of the World
4. A New Horizon
5. The Houston Triumvirate
6. The "Post Soul Era"
7. The Additional Burden of the Professional Black Player
8. Racism in Tennis
9. USTA Minority Participation
A. ATA Championship Singles
B. World Rankings of Black Players, 1979-1992
C. USTA Circuit Winners and Runners-Up
D. Some of the Best Matches by Black Players, 1957-2001
E. The Results of the First Annual Southern Tennis Championships
Sundiata Djata studies and teaches African history, African American history, Caribbean history, Latin American history, and U.S. sport history and has received degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana Campaign; Oklahoma City University; Morgan State University; and the University of Massachusetts. Djata is the author of The Bamana by the Niger: Kingdom, Jihad, and Colonization, 1712-1920 and has written articles on black music history, the Brazilian Naval Revolt of 1910, blacks and advertising, and the construction of black sexuality.
Series: Sports and Entertainment
6 x 9, 312 pages, 11 black and white illustrations