Remembering A Forgotten Pioneer

Sunday, August 26, 2007

(posted by OMDQ)

Longtime readers of One More Dying Quail know that I am perhaps the blogsphere's biggest supporter of Larry Doby, the former Cleveland Indians outfielder and first African-American player in American League history who I feel has never received his full due as one of the sport's pioneers.

I feel badly about this, but another pioneer who has not shared Doby's place on my list of favorites is Althea Gibson, the tennis star who broke the sport's color barrier in 1950 and became the first African-American to win the U.S. Open seven years later.

I'm not the only one who feels that way:

"The broad impact of Gibson's achievements will be saluted Monday during opening
night of the U.S. Open. [Sheila] Johnson is one of the pioneering black women from a wide range of fields who will gather to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Gibson's historic title at the U.S. National Championships...

"Althea Gibson probably is one of the most under-celebrated individuals in this country," Johnson said. "It's a shame more people don't know about her."

Indeed. I think Gibson's autobiography, "I Always Wanted to Be Somebody," just moved up my list of must-read items.

Tennis trailblazer Althea Gibson's impact measured by those she inspired (Yahoo! Sports)

Posted by One More Dying Quail at 1:03 AM


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