Althea Gibson

History, People, Queens

West Side Tennis Club via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr; Althea Gibson via Wiki Commons

On August 22, 1950, what was then known as the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) accepted Harlem’s Althea Gibson into theirĀ annual championship at Forest Hills, New York (the precursor to the U.S. Open). The spot on the championship roster made Gibson the first African-American athlete to compete in a U.S. national tennis competition, launching a storied career in which she won a whopping 16 Grand Slams, including the 1956 French Open where she became the first person of color to win such a title.

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