Charging the Net : A History of Blacks in Tennis from Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe to the Williams Sisters

Cecil Harris,Larryette Kyle-Debose

With every powerful serve and deft ground stroke, with every graceful volley and determined charge to the net, black tennis players, from Hall of Famers Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, Evonne Goolagong, and Yannick Noah to future legends James Blake and the sisters Venus and Serena Williams, have forced open the sports shuttered gates and demanded to be acknowledged. In Charging the Net, Cecil Harris and Larryette Kyle-DeBose draw on personal interviews and extensive research to chronicle the triumphs-and humiliations-of blacks in professional tennis from the 1940s to the present. For many fans and writers, Ashe, Gibson, and the Williams sisters personify black achievement in tennis, but others have made their mark. Charging the Net spotlights a wide range of competitors as well as the American Tennis Association, a league that thrived despite racial segregation, thanks to such benefactors as Dr. R. Walter Johnson.