Arthur Ashe: Tennis and Justice in the Civil Rights Era

Arthur Ashe: Tennis and Justice in the Civil Rights Era

by Eric Allen Hall


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Arthur Ashe explains how this iconic African American tennis player overcame racial and class barriers to reach the top of the tennis world in the 1960s and 1970s. But more important, it follows Ashe’s evolution as an activist who had to contend with the shift from civil rights to Black Power. Off the court, and in the arena of international politics, Ashe positioned himself at the center of the black freedom movement, negotiating the poles of black nationalism and assimilation into white society. Fiercely independent and protective of his public image, he navigated the thin line between conservatives and liberals, reactionaries and radicals, the sports establishment and the black cause.

Eric Allen Hall’s work examines Ashe’s life as a struggle against adversity but also a negotiation between the comforts—perhaps requirements—of tennis-star status and the felt obligation to protest the discriminatory barriers the white world constructed to keep black people "in their place."

Drawing on coverage of Ashe’s athletic career and social activism in domestic and international publications, archives including the Ashe Papers, and a variety of published memoirs and interviews, Hall has created an intimate, nuanced portrait of a great athlete who stood at the crossroads of sports and equal justice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421419824
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 06/15/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Eric Allen Hall is an assistant professor of history at Georgia Southern University, Statesboro.

Table of Contents

1. Richmond
3. An Emerging Activist
4. Bright Lights and Civil Rights
5. Tennis Wars
6. Defeat and Victory in South Africa
7. Transitions
8. The Comeback
9. Triumph and Tragedy
Essay on Sources

What People are Saying About This

Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar

"Eric Allen Hall has ambitiously delved into the professional life of tennis icon Arthur Ashe, uncovering a complex figure who made assiduous efforts to balance a range of political agendas and expectations—from within and from without. Hall's narrative ventures into the political and cultural tumult that enveloped Ashe's life—from civil rights to apartheid—giving perspective to how the world-famous athlete negotiated his own path, which was simultaneously called too politically tepid and too militant."

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