ALTHEA GIBSON: Tennis Champion by Tom Biracree

ALTHEA GIBSON: Tennis Champion

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Intelligent and unsentimental, this volume in the ""American Women of Achievement"" series serves up the life of a genuine unsung heroine. Two-time winner of both Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals (now called the U.S. Open) in 1957 and 1958, Gibson walked away from the game at the peak of her career, nearly as penniless as she had been in her Harlem childhood. That a lack of money stopped her from playing, when racial barriers did not, may surprise readers who are familiar with the prizes and sponsorships now available. From her years as an abused child in the North and her education in the pre-civil-rights South to her later experience as a golf pro and as a tennis teacher today, Gibson's life is presented with the accounts of hardship in their proper place: always second to her spirit and need to accomplish. This condensed but compelling account suggests that there is room for Gibson in the list that includes Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King, Jr. Unfortunately, the jacket painting shows Gibson mid-serve with her foot on the line: a ""foot-fault."" Illustrated with b&w photos, some dramatic and others merely serviceable. List of suggested reading; chronology; index.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1989
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Chelsea House