NYT’s Upshot Calls Arthur Ashe “Pathbreaker”

by | Jul 8, 2014 | COMMUNITY

There’s a million reason to recognize tennis player and Richmonder Arthur Ashe, and the New York Time’s Upshot blog has touched on a few.


There’s a million reason to recognize tennis player and Richmonder Arthur Ashe, and the New York Time’s Upshot blog has touched on a few.

In a post called ‘Arthur Ashe, Pathbreaker: From Richmond to Wimbledon, and Back,‘ Ashe’s tennis and Richmond legacy are examined in brief:

Born in 1943, Arthur Robert Ashe Jr. grew up in Richmond, Va. — the old Civil War capital of Jefferson Davis’s Confederacy — in a house on the all-black Brook Field recreation ground, where his fastidious, self-effacing father (who, the son recalled, “tried to get along with everyone”) worked as a caretaker. Ashe’s mother died when he was 6.

In 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled that segregated public schools were unconstitutional, the young Ashe felt “electrified,” he later remembered, by the prospect that “we would have all the rights and opportunities that whites had.” But the court had said nothing about integrating American tennis.

Ashe, immortalized in a terrifying statue on Monument, is still the only black man to win the United States Open (1868), the Australian Open (1970) or Wimbledon (1975).

NYT does manage to pick up on some of the nuances of his statue:

…it is smaller and more modest than the other ones, including one for Gen. Robert E. Lee. With his wry, quietly sardonic humor, Ashe himself might note that his statue is the only one on Monument Avenue with its back to the center of Richmond.

Head on over to the story here for a quick and informative read.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner is the former editor of GayRVA and RVAMag from 2013 - 2017. He’s now the Richmond Bureau Chief for Radio IQ, a state-wide NPR outlet based in Roanoke. You can reach him at BradKutnerNPR@gmail.com




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