Born the child of sharecroppers, Althea Gibson
grew up in Harlem and struggled in school and in life until she found she excelled at games.
Venus was equally proud of her victory over Belgian Justine Henin in last year's final which made her the first African American to retain the title since one of her heroines, Althea Gibson
, who did it in 1957 and 1958.
The pictures in Game Face include celebrated sports stars, such as Marion Jones, Chris Evert, Althea Gibson
, Amelia Earhart, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mary Lou Retton, Tara Lipinski and Martina Navratilova alongside dozens of anonymous amateurs.
She beat fellow-American Davenport in the final on the Centre Court, becoming the first African-American to capture the title since Althea Gibson
This was another triumph for the American Dream, Venus following in the footsteps of Althea Gibson
- the last black female to win in 1958 - Arthur Ashe and Zina Garrison.
Serena (left in photo) became the first African-American woman to win a Grand Slam crown since Althea Gibson
won the last of her five titles in 1958, and the fifth-youngest woman to win the title.
* Althea Gibson
was the first prominent African-american tennis player.
At the Wimbledon tennis championships in England, Althea Gibson
won the women's singles title.
Four years later Althea Gibson
was invited to play at Forest Hills.
Even as a new US Open statue paid tribute to the courage and perseverance of black tennis pioneer Althea Gibson
, Serena and Venus Williams warned Monday that the social and racial battles she fought remain issues today.
They include Jackie Robinson playing in the major leagues, the Miracle on Ice, the establishment of Title IX, the integration of the NBA, the broadcasting of sports on television, the Black Sox scandal, Secretariat winning the Triple Crown, the death of Dale Earnhardt, the streak of Cal Ripken, the stabbing of Monica Seles, the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal, and the achievements of athletes like Michael Phelps, Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente, Althea Gibson
, Wayne Gretzky, Kerri Strug, Tiger Woods, Rocky Marciano, and Dan Jansen.