Photo credit: @julesdwit.
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Listen to Arthur Ashe's call to the show in 1993
i was so moved by this segment that i ended up writing this reflection in a blog that i write for:
and to Jeanne Moutousammy Ashe, my brother also studied with De Carava, and so I remember you through that association.
Great segment and comments.
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.
and to bad AA didn't take a stand against the stigma of aids in 1988
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'sin th 90's. Is it because the consciuosness is missing among the youth? I have hope still.
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.
you should thank Brian also.
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.
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.
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??
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