Everyone knows Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr., but there are many other African Americans who have contributed to the rich fabric of our country but whose names have fallen through the cracks of history.
We’ve asked some of our authors who chose to write biographies of these talented leaders why we should remember them. We’ll feature their answers throughout Black History Month.
Today, Crystal Hubbard shares why she wrote about Arthur Ashe in Game, Set, Match, Champion Arthur Ashe:
“Arthur Ashe is one of my heroes because he was a great athlete, but he was also a great human being. Tennis propelled him to fame, and he used his stature to bring attention to causes that people might otherwise have ignored. He used sports to help change the world for the better, not to get rich or gain popularity.
“I am most impressed by Mr. Ashe’s efforts to focus the world’s eyes on Apartheid. Through sports, he managed to bring attention to South Africa’s policy of racial segregation, and he was the first major sports figure to do so. Having grown up in segregated Richmond, Virginia, one would think that Mr. Ashe would have confronted Apartheid with anger, but he didn’t. A combination of intellect, tenacity, compassion, and fearlessness fueled his crusade. At the beginning, he was a one-man silent storm, and his approach worked. He drew others to his cause without fire and righteousness, but with reason and hope.
“Mr. Ashe is an example of how one person can truly make a difference in the lives of many. He showed me that someone from the humblest of beginnings can make a monumental change in the way we think about people who are different from us, or who need our help.”