Ashe

I’m off to the US Open tonight courtesy a ticket from my boy. I’ve been many times and if you’ve been, you know that a night session can be ELECTRIC. Imagine the pent up energy of players and fans after two days of rain delays?

Arthur Ashe Stadium will be jumping.

Speaking of Ashe, I’ve been toying with developing a documentary about Arthur Ashe. Though its only in preliminary stages, I’d like to concentrate on one key moment out of his life. That’s going to be hard to narrow down when he had so many GREAT moments.

– First black Davis Cup Captain

-First black to win US OPEN, WIMBLEDON, AUSTRALIAN OPEN

-Honored by Presidential Medal of Freedom

He was an amazing player, activist, sportsman and black cultural ambassador. His rivalry with Jimmy Connors was legendary. At Wimbledon in 1975 he beat Connors 6–1, 6–1, 5–7, 6–4.

But I’m thinking about a post-humous moment: After his death, Arthur Ashe’s body lay in state at the governor’s mansion in his home state of Virginia. The last time this was allowed was for Stonewall Jackson of the Confederate Army during the Civil War. A statue of him was erected on Monument Avenue among J.E.B. Stuart, Jefferson Davis (President of the Confederacy), and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

There was a tremendous amount of controversy over the monument because up until his statue’s placement, the recognized icons in stone were all associated with the Confederacy, were all racist whites who never thought blacks in America could achieve the remarkable things that Ashe could. I believe the placement of the monument could make quite the film.

Meanwhile, tonight is a night for joy and passion! If you’ve never been to the US Open, make the pilgrimage and go at night, you won’t regret it.

 

 

 

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