Showing posts with label BTHOF. Show all posts

BLACK HISTORY MONTH HIGHLIGHT - 2019 Induction Ceremony Acceptance Speeches Of Regional Legends Norvell A. Brown, Dr. Emily Moore and Lonnie White



2019 BTHOF - Norvell A. Brown from Black Tennis Hall of Fame on Vimeo.



2019 BTHOF - Dr. Emily Moore from Black Tennis Hall of Fame on Vimeo.



2019 BTHOF - Lonnie White from Black Tennis Hall of Fame on Vimeo.

In Memory Of Kobe Bryant And His Daughter Gianna - Condolences And Prayers To Their Family, Friends and Loved Ones



MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY - KEEP THE DREAM ALIVE!!


CONGRATULATIONS BLACK TENNIS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2020!!

(VISIT CLASS OF 2020 BIOS HERE.)

Major Congratulations To Black Tennis Hall Of Fame Board Member D. A. Abrams, Who Is Listed Among Financial Planning "20 People Who Will Change Wealth Management In 2020"

Read full article at Financial Planning

AMERICAN TENNIS ASSOCIATION ANNIVERSARY - 103 Years Of Black Tennis History!


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.

Historic Highway Marker Unveiled For Durham's Algonquin Tennis Club

Many business, civic leaders and tennis enthusiasts attended the unveiling of the Algonquin Tennis Club, NC Historical Highway Marker in Durham, on Aug. 15, 2019.    Credit: Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A North Carolina Historical Highway Marker was unveiled Thursday, celebrating the all-black Algonquin Tennis Club. Tennis fans of all ages stood in front of the W. D. Hill Parks and Recreation Center in Durham for the unveiling on Fayetteville Street.

Miles Mark Fisher IV came down from Washington, D.C. for the event. The 86-year-old fondly remembers his days learning and playing tennis on those clay courts.

“I started ball-boying here in the 30s," said Fisher, who grew up on Fayetteville Street. "I ball boyed for Althea Gibson, all of the older players. I knew all of them personally.” 
The Algonquin Tennis Club was established in 1922, born out of segregation. Blacks could not play at white tennis establishments, even if they could afford to play there. The Algonquin Tennis Club, which also became a social club, was a place where African-American business leaders, educators and politicians would meet and socialize. 

In 1935, the Durham Committee on Negro Affairs was formed at The Algonquin. Today the organization still exists, known as the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People. For more than 30 years, The Algonquin was a prominent meeting space for parties and for black travelers to stay. Just like tennis courts, segregated hotels were hard to come by, especially in the South.

Nathan Garrett, one of the first African American CPAs in North Carolina, and his family were members of The Algonquin. In his memoir published in 2010, "A Palette, Not a Portrait," Garrett said behind the two-story clubhouse "was a generous and well-kept lawn that sloped down to three red-clay tennis courts."

Fisher, who went on to play tennis in college and coach the sport, said those clay courts hosted many tennis tournaments, and the greats would come.

“Althea played here, Arthur Ashe played here, John Lucas, a lot of the top black players played here," said Fisher. "And then sometimes they would have an exhibition with some of the top white players. They would come out here and play.”

The Algonquin clubhouse was destroyed by fire, and the tennis club dissolved in 1964.

American Tennis Association Tournament at the Algonquin Tennis Club in Durham (circa 1950)  Please note Arthur Ashe third youth from right on front row (From "Durham's Hayti" by Andre Vann and Beverly Washington Jones.)


SAVE THE DATE!! 2019 US Open Althea Gibson Statue Unveiling Hosted By Katrina Adams

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.





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.

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.
 

WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH: EXCLUSIVE! Conversation With Ann Koger - The Life Experience Of An African-American Woman Who Would Not Be Denied - Part I



 Ann Koger is one of the most inspirational women that I have had the opportunity to become acquainted with in my lifetime. She is one of those invincible human beings that fulfilled her dreams and life pursuits at a time when segregation and racism were wholly systemic and acceptable. The accomplishments achieved by Ann practically appear as if doors for African-Americans and women were wide open and inviting, when in actuality they were closed and unwelcoming. Ann has earned a societal place among the greatest, yet she is not the least bit interested in the shine that inherently comes with it. She sees her journey as experiences that were either “not an option,” to “I just kept going.” From growing up in segregated Baltimore, Maryland to retiring in 2016 after 35 years as the Head Coach of Women’s Tennis at Haverford University. Here are some of Ann’s accomplishments and accolades:

12th Annual Black Tennis Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony


Black Tennis Hall of Fame Welcomes Former ATA Champion, Publisher and Black Tennis Historian Arthur "Art" Carrington As Its Historian

Pioneer, Legend and Hall of Famer Oscar Johnson Has Passed


Black Tennis History is sad to announce the passing of Hall of Fame Oscar Johnson. Oscar was inducted into the Black Tennis Hall of Fame in 2010. We were fortunate to conduct a video interview with Oscar, which you can view on www.blacktennishistory.com. A great champion, a wonderful man, a pioneer who opened the door for the thousands who followed. He will be missed!

Black Tennis Hall Of Fame Welcomes Its New Executive Director

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