Films at the Schomburg: ALTHEA

Event Details


A Special Preview - Discover the story of Althea Gibson (1927-2003), a truant from the rough streets of Harlem, who emerged as the unlikely queen of the highly segregated tennis world in the 1950s. Bringing a fierce athleticism to the game, she was the first African-American to play and win at Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals (precursor of the U.S. Open) — a decade before Arthur Ashe. Gibson’s life and achievements transcend sports, and are part of African-American history.

The documentary explores Gibson’s roots as a sharecropper’s daughter, her family’s migration north to Harlem in the 30s, and her mentoring from boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins and others. Interviewees include Dinkins, Wimbledon champion Dick Savitt and Billie Jean King, who also serves as one of the film’s executive producers. Produced and directed by Rex Miller (A Chef’s Life, Private Violence).

A talk-back will follow the screening  featuring the following speakers: 
Leslie Allen, Former ATA, NCAA &  WTA Champion
David Dinkins, 106th Mayor for the City of New York
Art Carrington, Former ATA National Champion, longtime friend of ALthea Gibson and tennis historian
Rex Miller, Director/Producer


@SchomburgLive | #ALTHEAPBS

First come, first seated

For all free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. All registered seats are released 15 to 30 minutes before start time, so we recommend that you arrive early.


Please send all press inquiries (photo, video, interviews, audio-recording, etc) at least 24-hours before the day of the program to Adenike Olanreqaju at