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Breaking the Barriers Exhibition in Courage

Chapter One: An Exhibition in Courage/2011

The 2011 USTA Colorado Breaking the Barriers: An Exhibition in Courage exhibit, featured an historical timeline of African-Americans in tennis, dating from the 1800s to Arthur Ashe’s historical Wimbledon win in 1975. 

The exhibit was enhanced through several ancillary programs, including school outreach with guided tours, an oral history lecture series, a portrait series of local tennis pioneers, and USTA Colorado's original documentary short, Crossing the Net: Denver City Park & The Black Tennis Experience.

For many, it was an opportunity to connect with the great tennis champions of the past, and to learn about the history of black players in Colorado.


An Exhibition in Courage was the first of four exhibits from USTA Colorado and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Bear Gutierrez, whose innovate portraits showcased Colorado’s African-American tennis pioneers, including players, coaches and officials.


It was prominently displayed at the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library, which is located in Denver’s historical Five Points neighborhood. Blair-Caldwell is one of only five such libraries across the country, serving the Denver community as a branch of the Denver Public Library system. Blair-Caldwell is committed to bringing unique and memorable exhibits focusing on the history of African-Americans in Denver and the American West. 


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