A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
BASN Classic Blackbox: Tennis Truth Revealed Again
Originally Published: July 26, 2007 TENNIS REVEALED AGAIN
THE HOT NEW BOOK
Tennis as well as any
Sport reveals the Reality
of the Racist tendencies
that inform our World
and will continue
Here is how the authors of the new book put it, “The unspoken but persistent vibe that you are not welcome, that others would be happier if you went away, a vibe that black tennis players have sensed on the main tour for decades, makes it difficult to find the rhythm and comfort zone needed to perform at your best.”
Or how about African American Leslie Allen who played on the Women’s Tour in the 1980‘s put it. ” Id go to a tournament where the family wanted to house the No. 1 seed. But when that family found out that the No. 1 seed was me, then suddenly the housing disappeared.”
Let’s put it another way were it not for the Fabulous Williams Sisters, and to a lesser extent James Blake, African Americans would be as invisible in Tennis today in 2007 as they have ever been in the entire history of the Sport.
Is that anyone’s example of Progress. And are we going to be told again that the problem is African Americans themselves either a lack of interest or the even more virulent the unstated BS that Blacks aren’t physically good at Tennis..
Here is the publisher’s description of their book ……
” With every powerful serve and deft ground stroke, with every graceful volley and determined charge to the net, black tennis players, from Hall of Famers Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, Evonne Goolagong, and Yannick Noah to future legends James Blake and the sisters Venus and Serena Williams, have forced open the sport’s shuttered gates and demanded to be acknowledged. In Charging the Net, Cecil Harris and Larryette Kyle-DeBose draw on personal interviews and extensive research to chronicle the triumphs and humiliations of blacks in professional tennis from the 1940s to the present.”
Most of all these profiles and personal reflections of the African Americans involved in Tennis wrapped within the observations and the insights and experience of the two authors Cecil Harris and Larryette Kyle-DeBoseis is at heart an exquisitely executed indictment of the REALITY of Tennis.
Here in the Box we provide proof time after time now for more than 5 years that clearly there are many levels of “sophisticated” bias and often out and out Racism camouflaged in a supposedly enlightened 21st century White Power Structure but once you drill down …..
……. to the specifics and in this case the life experiences of talented African Americans drawn to Tennis we see the underbelly of Sports in America in all its White-centric rules and structures that beyond a doubt work to exclude and discourage African American participation.
Even though these White “finger prints” are usually so well hidden one very visible ‘test’ that is there for us all to see are to look for usually well publicized measures if any the “leadership” in Tennis and all the other Sports –
- the steps the controlling interests in each Sport take to bring more African Americans into their Sport as players, fans, officials, executives, owners, etc., etc., and in EVERY case they all have “programs” they can point to but just as much in virtually every case these “programs” are PR stunts to give the impression of inclusion while hiding the REALITY of exclusion.
Think about this ..
The tremendous success of Venus and Serena Williams and the interest and value they have brought to the Sport of Tennis and specifically the Tour would very very LOGICALLY lead to conclusion and significant steps to encourage many more more young AFRICAN American women to develop themselves into Tennis pros and follow the Williams Sisters on to the TOUR. WRONG.
Today there are the “window dressing” inner city programs just as before. Venus and Serena did not emerge from the mean streets of Compton, CA to become SuperStars because of the Tennis Establishment but in spite of it !
It’s worth concluding …..
With some reflections on Athena Gibson from the book and widely known. Athena Gibson the True Pioneer of African American Tennis and even with the success of The Williams Sisters still considered by many the Greatest African American Tennis Player of all time.. Well the new book relates oh so well and in detail as is widely known how the GREAT Athena Gibson “Althea Gibson, the Wimbledon champ from Harlem who ended up broke, reclusive and bitter.”
The REALITY of Tennis in America
yesterday and today and
very likely tomorrow
Read all about it
in the new book
” Charging The Net ”
THE GREAT ALTHEA GIBSON