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Charging the Net: A History of Blacks in Tennis from Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe to the Williams Sisters Hardcover – June 7, 2007


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Charging the Net: A History of Blacks in Tennis from Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe to the Williams Sisters + Born to Win: The Authorized Biography of Althea Gibson
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ivan R. Dee (June 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566637147
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566637145
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,770,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Despite what many might assume, the Williams sisters were not the first high-profile African American tennis players. Before Venus and Serena there was Arthur Ashe, who in 1975 became the first black player to win Wimbledon, and before him there was Althea Gibson, who won a string of major titles in the 1950s. And those are just the two biggest names on a list that stretches back nearly 100 years. Veteran sports journalist Harris and tennis player Kyle-DeBose chart the course of black tennis through the twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries. Prejudice played a big part in the story, of course, as did politics and economics. Even so, as with baseball's color line, it was only a matter of time before African American tennis players proved that they could compete with—and defeat—white players. Although the basics of this story have been told before, in other contexts, this volume takes a more comprehensive approach to the subject and, as such, carves a deserving place for itself in tennis literature. Pitt, David

Review

Before and after Althea Gibson leaped the color bar, blacks were playing tennis—enthusiastically but largely unrecognized. Harris and Kyle-DeBose have done the game a service, deeply exploring the history of the triumphs, pains and pitfalls of the black experience. (Bud Collins The Boston Globe)

This volume takes a more comprehensive approach to the subject and...carves a deserving place for itself in tennis literature. (David Pitt Booklist)

An informative read on African-Americans in tennis....The overall impact produces a service ace. Charging the Net should be required reading for anyone concerned about the history of race in sport and the lack of diversity in tennis. (Tenessean.Com)

Explores the ongoing journey for black tennis players to force open the sport's shuttered gates....packed with historic information. (Standard Newswire)

A wide-ranging history, built on more than 65 interviews, that tells in-depth stories about the lives of black tennis stars. (The New York Times)

Worth reading. (Black Athlete Sports Network)

the authors weave a well-referenced log of the trials, tribulations, and challenges that have faced young black tennis stars...This is a book for those interested in sports, sport psychology, sport management, African American studies, and, of course, for all who follow tennis. Summing Up: Recommended. (CHOICE, January 2008)

Lively presentation blends civil rights issues with tennis....Top pick...for sports libraries [and] collection[s] strong in integration issues. (Midwest Book Review)

Labor of love...document[s] a rich black tennis experience. (Inside Tennis)

Interesting read for all avid sports enthusiasts....The lessons learned here need to stay vibrant in our minds. (Chris Howard Daily Courier)

Historical account...describes the numerous contributions of and challenges overcome by specific figures. (Forecast)

The authors weave a well-referenced log of the trials, tribulations, and challenges that have faced young black tennis stars....This is a book for those interested in sports, sport psychology, sport management, African American studies, and, of course, for all who follow tennis....Recommended. (M. L. Krotee CHOICE)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
CHARGING THE NET: A HISTORY OF BLACKS IN TENNIS provides a fine survey of the major black figures in tennis who forced the sport to integrate. Personal interviews and in-depth research details the challenges blacks faced in entering professional status in the tennis world, with chapters surveying the achievements of individuals, teams, and organizations alike. This is a top pick not just for sports libraries, but for any general-interest collection strong in integration issues and sports. Its lively presentation blends civil rights issues with tennis sports world insights.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By mistermaxxx08 HALL OF FAME on July 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
congradulations to the Williams sisters winning at WImbledon together and for them battling against one another for the championship. this Book is a Must read for the tennis fan in general and also from a basic rights and understanding of the history of Blacks in tennis. this book is very in depth and is a note for note line for line read. very informative. a must have.
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By dollywwod1 on March 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book taught me many things about blacks in tennis! I was very excited to read it and learn that soooo many blacks have played for years,AND WE NEVER HEARD ABOUT THEM SIMPLY BECAUSE OF SKIN COLOR- HOW SAD!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love reading about African-American History that wasn't taught in the schools. You find out that African-Americans contributed a lot to America but was never talked about or sweep under the rug. Definitely would recommend!!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sharon M. Oneal on November 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I found it a very informative and wonderful book to read. I really learned a lot about the history of Black tennis pros. I would definetely recommend for everyone to read this book.
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