An unprecedented look at the rich history of blacks on U. S. tennis courts.
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
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.
View other books in this series
Sundiata Djata teaches African and African American sports history at Northern
Illinois University. He has been published in the Journal of Caribbean Studies,
Business and Society Review, Drum, and Sankofa.
6 x 9, 272 pages, 14 black-and-white photographs, appendixes, glossary,