The Match: Althea Gibson and the Portrait of a Friendship

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9780060526535: The Match: Althea Gibson and the Portrait of a Friendship

When Althea Gibson first met Angela Buxton, she had no idea the journey on which she was embarking. Gibson was born in the American South, and raised in the heart of a vibrant Harlem. Amazingly, with the help of friends who recognized her extraordinary talent, Gibson rose from a childhood playing stickball on Harlem streets to claim victory at Wimbledon. Her sacrifices and the humiliations she suffered paving the way for the success of Venus and Serena Williams. But Althea's was a victory hard fought and hard won. Despite her athletic prowess, she was even shunned by the other female players at the Wimbledon game of 1956. Her falling being her skin colour. Angela Buxton, the granddaughter of Russian Jews was also shunned. Her failing was her religion. Finding themselves without doubles partners, the pair decided to join forces and together they triumphed. The two would become lifelong friends, and Buxton would prove to be Althea Gibson's greatest support during her darkest times. Althea Gibson died in 2003, but her life, and contributions to tennis and race relations in the United States is well preserved in this valuable book.

Bruce Schoefeld delivers not only the true history of Gibson's life, but also an inspiring story of the underdog who refused to let bigotry win out-both on and off the court.

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