Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
- 20.6 linear ft., (42 boxes)
The Arthur Ashe papers document the wide range of Ashe's political, athletic, business, and philanthropic activities. Although they contain some significant material from the 1960s and 1970s, the papers are concentrated more heavily on Ashe's activities following his retirement from competitive tennis in 1980.
The Personal Papers series contains biographical information, and correspondence (with political and cultural leaders such as Andrew Young, Dennis Brutus, and Nikki Giovanni), scrapbooks, and clippings dealing with his controversial trips to South Africa in 1973 and 1974 to play in the South African national championships. The Correspondence series consists of both general correspondence with friends, supporters and business associates, including American tennis champion Stan Smith and British tennis legend and peace activist Henry "Bunny"Austin, concerning his tennis career and political activities, as well as a substantial amount of material relating to his 1992 AIDS announcement. A large portion ofthe Writings series comprises Ashe's research files and drafts for his historical study of African-American athletes, A Hard Road to Glory, as well as his columns, articles, and speeches. There are also transcripts of interviews with Arnold Rampersad in preparation for his Days of Grace memoir which deal with his early life, viewson politics and race, and struggle with AIDS. Among the activities documented in the Projects and Proposed Projects series is Ashe's interest in creating an African-American Sports Hall of Fame and the subsequent debates over a statue to be erected in his honor in Richmond afterhis death. The Davis Cup Captaincy series reveals the generational changes in the tennis world in the 1980s. Printed Material includes articles and clippings from American and foreign media about Ashe tracing his career as a player and activist, his AIDS announcement, and obituaries and tributes discussing his legacy.
Arthur Ashe, African-American tennis champion and human rights activist, was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1943 and first played tennis on local segregated park courts. Educated at UCLA, he played on and captained numerous Davis Cup teams, and competed in tournaments throughout the world winning the United States Open in 1968, the Australian Open in 1970, and Wimbledon in 1975. He served as an early director of the Association of Tennis Professionals, a players' union which attempted to reform the sport in the 1970s, as well as on other boards and advisory committees concerned with education, civil rights,sports, and health. Ashe actively campaigned against Apartheid in South Africa, and, after his retirement from tennis in 1980 due to a heart condition, became a noted writer and commentator on sports and society. In 1992, after announcing that he had AIDS, acquired from a blood transfusion following heart bypass surgery, Ashe became active in raising funds and increasing awareness of the disease. He was the author of a three-volume history of African-American athletes, "A Hard Road to Glory: a History of the African-American Athlete," as well as instructional books and three autobiographies, "Portrait in Motion with Frank Deford," "Off the Court with Neil Amdur, and Day of Grace: a Memoir, with Arnold Rampersad."Ashe died in New York City in 1993.
Controlled Access Terms
- Ashe, Arthur.
- Tennis players -- United States -- Biography.
- African American athletes -- Biography.
- AIDS (Disease) -- Patients -- United States.
- Discrimination in sports -- United States.
- Sports -- Moral and ethical aspects -- United States.
- Sports -- Social aspects -- United States.
- African Americans -- Civil rights.
- Apartheid -- South Africa.
Additional Creator Names
- Austin, Henry Wilfrid, 1906-2000.
- Smith, Stan, 1946-