Showing posts with label Angela Buxton. Show all posts

HALL OF FAMER ANGELA BUXTON HAS DIED AT 85

British tennis player Angela Buxton, left, and doubles partner Althea Gibson, right, are presented with the trophy for the 1956 Wimbledon Women's Doubles title by The Duchess of Kent.

In 1956, Angela Buxton made history by winning the French Woman’s Doubles Championship with Althea Gibson. She therefore played an important role in helping Althea Gibson become the first African American to win a Grand Slam tournament doubles championship. Buxton and Gibson went on to win the Wimbledon Women’s Doubles Championship that year as well. In 1953 and 1957, she won the Women’s Singles title at the Maccabiah Games for Jewish athletes. People of Jewish descent were not admitted to the All England Lawn Tennis Club where Wimbledon was played until 1952. In addition, they faced discrimination on the world tennis tour. The racism that Gibson experienced and the anti-Semitism that Buxton experienced brought them together on the tennis tour. When they won the Wimbledon Women’s Doubles Championship one British newspaper used the unfortunate headline “Minorities Win” to call attention to their victory.

Buxton was an excellent singles player who reached the 1956 Wimbledon Women’s Finals. Prior to that accomplishment, she won the English Indoor title, the London Grass Court singles championships and the English Hard Court Doubles title with Darlene Hard. She reached the semi-finals of the Women’s Singles division of French Championships in 1956 (the same year she and Gibson won the Women’s Doubles Championship). 

 

Black Tennis Hall of Fame inducted Ms. Buxton in 2015, and the International Jewish Sports Hall in Israel in 1981, as shared by The Jerusalem Post.


Ms. Buxton is accompanied by Billie Jean King.

On Monday, August 26, 2019, the first day of the U.S. Open and the historic occasion of the Althea Gibson Statue Unveiling, Ms. Buxton, shared memories of her long-time friend.  “We won both the French and Wimbledon doubles together with my arm around her both times at the closing ceremonies.”  “She slowly became the Jackie Robinson of tennis and I was soon referred to as the Pee Wee Reese, who without saying a word indicated, “This is my friend.” 

Ms. Buxton, seated far right, shared moments of her career and friendship with Althea Gibson.


A Major Event For The Preservation And Rememberance Of The Life And Contributions Of American Tennis Great Althea Gibson At 2019 U.S. Open

Althea Gibson Monument Unveiled On Day One of 2019 U.S. Open

The historic occasion of  the Althea Gibson Statue Unveiling on Monday, August 26, 2019, the first day of the U.S. Open, raised so many different levels of thoughts and feelings.  The day was beautiful, the weather was good and the crowd was large, we were about to witness a tremendous turn around in the consistent lack of preservation and honor that Ms. Gibson has long deserved.

The greatness that Ms. Gibson brought to the Black community, the tennis world and America should have already afforded her legacy the dignity and respect that many who have done far less have already received.

This incredible Black woman was the first to break the color barrier of the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) in 1950, and played in the U. S. National Tennis Championships in Forest Hills. She became the first African-American player to play in Wimbledon in 1951. She won the French Open Championship in 1956. Ms. Gibson won the U.S. National Championships and Wimbledon in 1957 and 1958. These victories were especially historic because the winner’s trophy was presented to her by Queen Elizabeth.

Ms. Gibson also broke the color barrier in golf, launching her golf career in 1964 and joining the
Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).

On the day of the Unveiling, Immediate Past United States Tennis Association (USTA) President Katrina Adams, and former tennis professionals Leslie Allen and Zina Garrison, all gave tribute to, and discussed the depth of what Ms. Gibson meant to them and the role that her mentorship played in their becoming successful players. Witnessing these Black women honor the fact that had there been no Althea Gibson, they would not be where they are today, paid well deserved, respectful and loving tribute to yet another history making and door opening Black American woman.

American tennis great Billie Jean King, Angela Buxton, Ms. Gibson's former doubles partner, and the creator of the monument, Eric Goulder, also discussed and paid wonderful tribute to Ms. Gibson. Of particular note was Mr. Goulder's detailing of his concept in creating the monument.  During an interview he talked about, "The bust portion sitting atop a box, the box representing the box that the world tried to keep her in, and her now sitting atop that box she is depicted having broken out of it." And that, "Her shoulder is especially depicted in the way that it is, because so many now stand on it."

Talking to Mr. Goulder brought so much more conceptual meaning to his work. Upon returning to the statue, I now saw it in a totally different light, and was also spiritually enlightened by it.

Ms. Buxton, shared memories of her long-time friend.  “We won both the French and Wimbledon doubles together with my arm around her both times at the closing ceremonies,” noted Gibson’s former doubles partner Angela Buxton during the ceremony. “she slowly became the Jackie Robinson of tennis and I was soon referred to as the Pee Wee Reese, who without saying a word indicated, “This is my friend.”

The sculpture also will activate an augmented reality experience. Developed by MRM/McCann, visitors will be able to activate exclusive content about Althea Gibson’s life and legacy by focusing the Augmented Reality (AR) Viewfinder found within the 2019 US Open app onto the sculpture.  Narrated by Billie Jean King, the additional AR experience traces Althea’s humble roots, her early interest and involvement in tennis, her career and her legacy through video footage, photos and graphics.  Fans can also view the AR experience anywhere by using the APP to place a full-size 3D “hologram” of the sculpture into their surroundings and re-live the experience again or for the very first time.component that brings Gibson's life and career to life for fans on site during the Open via the US Open mobile app.

This honor that the USTA has bestowed upon Ms. Gibson shines such a brighter light on the historic and current day value of the life of Althea Gibson. Later in the day, I stood and watched people of many different cultures stop and observe the monument, take photos in front of it or standing beside it, and reading her quote that is engraved on one of the surrounding granite blocks, "I hope that I have accomplished just one thing: that I have been a credit to tennis and my country.

WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH - Black Tennis Hall Of Fame Inductees

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