Streams

Remembering Arthur Ashe

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe talks about her late husband, tennis great Arthur Ashe, and his legacy covering sports, civil rights and AIDs education.

Listen to Arthur Ashe's call to the show in 1993

If you can't see the video click here

Guests:

Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [10]

Terry McKenna from Dover NJ

i was so moved by this segment that i ended up writing this reflection in a blog that i write for:

http://dailyrevolution.net/?page_id=692

and to Jeanne Moutousammy Ashe, my brother also studied with De Carava, and so I remember you through that association.

Feb. 17 2008 08:45 AM
World's Toughest Milkman from the_C_train

Great segment and comments.

Feb. 12 2008 01:01 PM
Skip Prince from Brooklyn

I grew up in Richmond, Virginia in the sixties and seventies. I played tennis, taught on on the city courts through high school and during summers home from college; these were the same courts on which that Arthur Ashe was prohibited from playing, that drove him to Lynchburg and Dr. Johnson (a god to us).

I'm not sure that it's possible to recreate today how strange and troubled those days were in the South - and Richmond wore the South like a uniform, even it was only an hour and a half from Washington, D.C. But in those times, it's just as hard to overstate how much of a hero Arthur Ashe was to those of us there - young, confused, impressionable, not so much a revolutionaries as looking for a way out of what just...seemed...not...right.

I speak with Arthur senior frequently; Richmond appointed him in charge of those same city courts years later, a too-late sinecure. Mr. Ashe wasn't too sure of his son's politics; in fact, he was even a little upset that he meditated during changeovers. Of course, he won the U.S. Open doing so. I remember telling him that Arthur Ashe not only was a hero, but he made it hard for anybody to ever have others.

Forty years later I feel the same way. I don't think a lot of people realized how extraordinary he was. I miss him, and how gracefully he blended intellect and competitiveness and perspective. And boy, did he have a service.

Feb. 12 2008 11:59 AM
hjs from 11211

and to bad AA didn't take a stand against the stigma of aids in 1988

Feb. 12 2008 11:49 AM
Ben from NYC

Brian, thanks for playing this!

This perspective is what makes your show special.
A.A.'s comments are still relevant, and actually even more relevant today. I don't see kids incorporating social consciousness into their fashion today, like you mention with the X's
in th 90's. Is it because the consciuosness is missing among the youth? I have hope still.

Feb. 12 2008 11:45 AM
Kathy Kearns from Glen Cove, NY

What a beautiful, inspiring man! I wish everyone felt as connected with our fellow human beings as did Arthur Ashe. Thank you for remembering him today.

Feb. 12 2008 11:43 AM
hjs from 11211

Jonathan Friedman,

you should thank Brian also.

Feb. 12 2008 11:41 AM
Jonathan Friedman from Glen Cove NY

I thank you both Leonard and Ms. Ashe, for thinking to run this on President Lincoln's BIRTH Day. You mentiuon diversity, and thinking of Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals, thank you for brining forward this true expression of that spirit.

Feb. 12 2008 11:38 AM
rachel from brooklyn

wow. thank you so much for bringing back Arthur Ashe's voice. I am so moved to remember his humane intelligent critique of race relations. It reminds me of the family of social justice of which I hope I am a part, and makes me feel proud and hopeful. There are too few like him.

Feb. 12 2008 11:38 AM
hjs from 11211

Ashe discovered he had contracted HIV during the blood transfusions he had received during one of his two heart surgeries.

Why did he keep this a secret for so long??

Feb. 12 2008 11:20 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.