CBS Press Release, January 14, 2019
CBS Sports Network celebrates Black History Month with the premiere of “Althea & Arthur,” a documentary highlighting the two very different legacies of Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, the first African-Americans to cross the color barrier of international tennis. The one-hour special debuts Monday, Feb. 18 (9:00 PM, ET).
The documentary, narrated by Tony Award winning actress Phylicia Rashad, chronicles the significant impact Gibson and Ashe made not only to the world of tennis, but also in advancing civil rights in America during a time of racism and segregation. The film explores the dichotomy of Ashe as a revered civil rights icon and a “citizen of the world,” while Gibson remains largely forgotten, even after winning 11 total Grand Slam titles and integrating a second sport – professional golf – when her tennis career ended.
Click here to view a preview of the documentary.
Below is a sampling of key tennis voices featured throughout the documentary celebrating Gibson’s legacy:
- Venus Williams, 23-time (overall) Grand Slam Champion
- Billie Jean King, Tennis Icon
- Katrina Adams, Former President of the USTA and Analyst on CBS Sports Network’s We Need To Talk
- Angela Buxton, Gibson’s Doubles partner in 1956 French Open and Wimbledon Titles
- Cecil Harris, Author of ‘Charging The Net – A History of Blacks in Tennis from Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe to the Williams Sisters’
- Johnnie Ashe, Arthur Ashe’s Brother
The documentary also highlights a group of girls from the ‘One Love Tennis’ group in Wilmington, NC, the city that Gibson called home during her high school years, who led a successful campaign to build an Althea Gibson memorial at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing, NY.
Mike Stypulkoski produces the documentary. Emilie Deutsch is Vice President, Features and Original Programming, CBS Sports.