Althea Gibson

Suddenly it dawned on me that my triumphs had not destroyed the racial barriers once and for all, as I had – perhaps naively – hoped.

Many of us have heard of Arthur Ashe – the first (and only) black man to win Wimbledon in 1975, almost 45 years ago to the day.

But 18 years prior, Althea Gibson became the first black woman to win Wimbledon in 1957.

In 1964, she also became the first black woman to join the Ladies Professional Golf Association.

When speaking of her successes and retirement, she said: “suddenly it dawned on me that my triumphs had not destroyed the racial barriers once and for all, as I had – perhaps naively – hoped.”

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