The 2019 Black Tennis Hall Of Fame Class Advances The Historic Journey Of Black Tennis Players As They Are Honored With Induction


Black Tennis Hall of Fame Board and Administration L-R Board Member D.A. Abrams, Founder Dr. Dale G. Caldwell, President Bob Davis, Hall of Famer Benny Sims, Jr., Board Member Ann Koger, Historian Arthur Carrington, Executive Director Shelia Curry, Board Member Gary Cogar.  (PHOTO CREDIT:  Gary Battle)

With each year's induction ceremony, inductee's careers, opportunities to enjoy those careers, and ability to foster training and education in communities nationwide increases and further builds on the never ending historic progress that was made by African-Americans in the sport of tennis.

L-R Norvell Brown, Chanda Rubin, Lonnie White
On Saturday, June 22, 2019, the Black Tennis Hall of Fame (BTHOF) held its 12th annual induction ceremony in Brooklyn, New York at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The historic building provided the classically civic atmosphere that it truly represents.


Family, friends and colleagues gathered in the 2nd floor courtroom of the building to witness the induction of Pioneers: Nathaniel and Franklyn Jackson and Ted Thompson, Player/Contributors: Richard Russell, Chanda Rubin, Phil Williamson and Benny Sims, Jr. and Regional Legends: Dr. Emily Moore, Arvelia Myers, Lonnie White and Norvell A Brown.

Phil Williamson
The ceremony opened with a warm welcome from President Bob Davis, who then followed with acknowledgements of hall of famers in attendance.  Executive Director Shelia Curry followed by boasting the extensive career experiences and community contributions of each inductee individually as they were presented with trophies and plaques

Tennis Channel Broadcast Analyst Chanda Rubin was presented first, as Ms. Rubin had a flight to catch shortly thereafter to continue her many travels to the various tournaments worldwide.


Dr. Emily Moore
United States Tennis Association (USTA) Diversity Manager Esu Ma'at spoke, providing information
on upcoming efforts by the organization to increase and improve their inclusion and diversity efforts.
 
President Bob Davis performed the induction of personal friend Richard Russell of Jamaica, who was unable to attend, but did provide a video taped acceptance (technical difficulty cut the sound).

Adding to the spiritual ambiance of the ceremony, performances were given by the Mt. Moriah Children's Choir and vocalist Anneka Turner accompanied by pianist Howard Robbins. Additionally, poetry was shared by Poet Compton Dodson.
Benny Sims, Jr.
The ceremony closed with a champagne and hors d'oeuvres celebration allowing for pleasant socialization, picture taking, and fond goodbyes.





Hall of Famer Chanda Rubin Tweets About The Special Moment Of Her 2019 Induction And Is Congratulated By Tennis Channel Colleagues



City of Richmond, Virginia Hosting Three-Day Celebration Honoring Arthur Ashe, Jr.

Arthur Ashe, Jr.
(CREDITS:  Reprint and photos courtesy of Richmond Free Press)

Three days of celebrating Arthur Ashe Jr.

Next week, Richmond’s focus will be on honoring the late hometown tennis star and humanitarian.

The celebration that starts on Thursday, June 20, will be capped at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 22, with the ceremonial unveiling of new street signs for Arthur Ashe Boulevard between Westwood Avenue, the Arthur Ashe Center and the once whites-only Byrd Park tennis courts from which Mr. Ashe was turned away as a youth.

Thousands of people are expected to turn out for the main event as the Ashe family joins elected officials and a host of others to celebrate the renaming of the 2.5-mile street long known now as The Boulevard.

Georgia Congressman John R. Lewis, a civil rights icon, is to deliver the keynote address at the event that will take place at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 428 Arthur Ashe Blvd.

“Arthur Ashe is one of Richmond’s true champions,” Mayor Levar M. Stoney stated.

Along with reaching the pinnacle of the sport with three grand slam wins, Mr. Ashe was a “champion for equality and social justice who is more than worthy of this honor,” the mayor noted.

Black Tennis Hall of Fame Founder Dr. Dale Caldwell Now Has His Photo On The "Wall of Fame" At The New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) In Trenton

Dr. Dale Caldwell at the "Wall of Fame" at the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA)
(By Tapinto New Brunswick Staff  / Credits: Educational Services Commission of New Jersey  /  Permission of Editor Chuck O'Donnell)

NEW BRUNSWICK - Dr. Dale G. Caldwell, who is the vice president of the New Brunswick Board of Education and president of the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ), now has his photo on the "Wall of Fame" at the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) in Trenton.

The NJSBA held a ceremony on May 22 for all the "School Board Members of the Year," giving each inductee a rose.  Caldwell received the statewide honor in 2009.

"It was a great ceremony," Caldwell said. "I was honored by the recognition."

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Caldwell has served on the New Brunswick Board of Education for nearly 21 years. He served as president from 2006-08 and was re-elected to the top post in May 2017 for a district enrolling more than 10,200 students from preschool through grade 12.

In addition, Caldwell has served on the board of the ESCNJ since 1999 and is the first person to be elected Board President for 14 years in a row. The ESCNJ is the largest special needs school district in the state.  In addition to providing high quality educational services to students who are multiply disabled, on the Autism spectrum and emotionally challenged, the ESCNJ provides bus transportation and cooperative buying to more than 1,000 school districts and municipalities.

Hall of Famer D. A. Abrams Shares The Origin Of His Love Of Tennis


Black Tennis Hall Of Fame And Partner Black History Museum & Culture Center Of Virginia Enjoy Live Jazz At Freedom Friday Event With Surprise Visit From Jazz Great James "Plunky" Branch

Black Tennis Hall of Fame Executive Director Shelia Curry and world renowned Jazz great James "Plunky" Branch.

On Friday evening, June 7, 2019, the Black History Museum and Culture Center of Virginia (BHMVA) held their monthly Freedom Friday Live Jazz event, which occurs on the first Friday of each month. Admission is free, you have the opportunity to view the museum's exhibitions, be a part of special activities and entertainment, as well as enjoy good food and beverages. 

Executive Directors Shelia Curry(L) and Adele Johnson(R)
Adele Johnson, who was appointed Executive Director of the BHMVA this year on January 1, is working in such an incredible way to not only preserve Black history and tell our stories, but also to incorporate present day communities inside of historic events utilizing new methodologies. One of those new ways is Freedom Friday.

At the event you enjoy live Jazz programmed by Richmond Jazz Society featuring some of the area's most popular artists with up-and-coming young lions making a name on the Jazz scene.

Michael Hawkins (L) and Ayinde Williams (R)
Last night's event showcased Michael Hawkins, one of Virginia’s premier bassists who has toured the U.S. with internationally acclaimed pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Hawkins performs straight-ahead and contemporary Jazz as an accompanist and, as leader of his own ensembles.  Performing alongside Hawkins was a young and accomplished pianist, Ayinde Williams who has attended the Manhattan School of Music and Virginia Commonwealth University.

The two musicians played current and classic music that set the room on fire, put all of us jazz lovers in that very cool "jazzy mood" and took us to musical places that we had not been in awhile. They were absolutely fantastic. 

The great surprise of the evening was the presence of world renowned and Richmond, Virginia hometown favorite James "Plunky" Branch!  Mr. Branch is a jazz artist whose music has traveled the world and is a favorite therein.  Even though the famed jazz musician did not take the stage, the audience was no less delighted to have him within our midst.

As we were talking, Mr. Branch shared with me that he is a Richmond Tennisbum team member and that he loves playing tennis... who knew!  He also shared with me that he had been playing tennis at 7:30am on Friday morning, and that the Richmond Tennisbums had topped their age division in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and gone to the nationals.  An article on the 11-member team was posted in the Richmond Free Press.

What a night. A great evening was had by all, and every chance that I get on the first Friday of each month, I'll be headed back to Freedom Friday.
 

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