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Black History Month: Celebrating Change-Makers

 

 

Black History Month: Celebrating Change-Makers


In celebration of Black History Month throughout February, USTA.com takes a look at the courageous pioneers who helped to change the face of this sport, as well as those who have followed in their footsteps and today use their platforms—at every level of the game—to champion change and open doors of opportunity for others. 

Be Open

The USTA's Be Open Campaign highlights those who exemplify the spirit of "being open" and is designed to inspire others to be a catalyst for change and create a better future for us all.
  • Northern
    Mya Smith-Dennis on D & I
    March 12, 2021
    USTA Northern Manager of Diversity, Inclusion and Education, Mya Smith-Dennis, outlines what the section is doing in the diversity and inclusion space and how it grows the game. Read More
  • Florida
    BHM - Orlando Brothers
    February 26, 2021
    USTA Florida is celebrating Black History Month this February by shining the spotlight on members of the vast Florida tennis community. Read More
  • National
    Jermaine & Jarmere Jenkins
    February 26, 2021
    Brother Jermaine and Jarmere Jenkins both work at the top level of tennis, with the help of support from sisters Venus and Serena Williams. Learn more about their unique pathway to the game's highest level. Read More
  • Middle States
    Growing Up with the Game
    February 26, 2021
    As a kid, Marcus McCree would head across town with his friends in suburban Washington D.C. to play some tennis. Now he is an avid USTA League player, tennis advocate and community member. Much of McCree’s initial experience with tennis came down to access to local tennis courts. He sees access to courts as an important way to grow the game with a younger generation — especially to increase diversity in the game. On top of that, he hopes to see more young talent pulling youth into the game. Read More
  • Mid-Atlantic
    BHM: VanDer Woody
    February 25, 2021
    USTA Mid-Atlantic is showcasing Black players from the Section who display their everyday passion and commitment to tennis. We're excited to catch up with current high school tennis player VanDer Woody. Read More
  • Florida
    BHM - Habtu Belayneh
    February 24, 2021
    USTA Florida is celebrating Black History Month this February by shining the spotlight on members of the vast Florida tennis community. Read More
  • National
    Rolle hoping to inspire
    February 23, 2021
    Coached by Lori McNeil in her playing days, former Top 100 player Ahsha Rolle is now helping to grow tennis at all levels in the Bronx, and hopes to be an inspiration for the next generation of Black tennis players and administrators. Read More
  • Missouri Valley
    Hudlin Influenced Tennis
    February 23, 2021
    Everyone of course knows about Arthur Ashe. And you may also know about Ashe’s connections to St. Louis. Ashe arrived in the area from Richmond, Va. as aspiring African-American tennis players in Richmond were not allowed to use the indoor tennis facilities during the colder months. Enter Richard Hudlin. Read More
  • New England
    Zimbabwe Academy Efforts
    February 23, 2021
    He is a former ATP tour player. He is the former No. 1 ranked NCAA Division I men’s tennis player in the country (Southern Methodist University). He represented his home nation in the Davis Cup. He is now the Head Racquets Professional at the Weston Golf Club in Weston, MA. He is Genius Chidzikwe, and his tennis journey began like so many others in Mutare, Zimbabwe – at Mantas Tennis Academy. Read More
  • National
    BHM Essay: Mark Riley
    February 22, 2021
    In his USTA.com Black History Month essay, Kalamazoo College head men's tennis coach Mark Riley discusses the importance of activism in young people and the tremendous value of Black and brown role models in positions of power. Read More
  • Florida
    BHM - Paul Segodo
    February 22, 2021
    USTA Florida is celebrating Black History Month this February by shining the spotlight on members of the vast Florida tennis community. Read More
  • Mid-Atlantic
    BHM: Emperess Johnson
    February 18, 2021
    USTA Mid-Atlantic is showcasing Black players from the Section who display their everyday passion and commitment to tennis. We're excited to catch up with current college tennis player Emperess Johnson. Read More
  • Eastern
    From New to Now
    February 18, 2021
    This past summer, USTA Eastern piloted the Find Your Level initiative in New Brunswick, New Jersey. With this program, we endeavored to make the sport as accessible as possible for anybody in the area who wanted to play. With our video series From New to Now, we'll follow these players through their journey in the sport. Read More
  • National
    Q&A: Coach Alan Green
    February 18, 2021
    Despite the constant changes caused by COVID-19 to the inclement weather that New Orleans has experienced this winter, coach Alan Green of Xavier University of Louisiana still has his sights set on a national championship. Read More
  • National
    BHM NJTL: Toni Wiley
    February 16, 2021
    Toni Wiley has been giving back to her hometown of Dorchester, Mass. through the USTA Foundation NJTL chapter Sportsmen’s Tennis & Enrichment Center since 2008. Read More
  • National
    Katrina Adams: BHM essay
    February 15, 2021
    In her Black History Month essay, former USTA president and WTA player Katrina Adams reflects on her on- and off-court experiences in the sport, and pays homage to those who have helped her navigate her journey. Read More
  • Florida
    BHM - Chantel Day
    February 15, 2021
    USTA Florida is celebrating Black History Month this February by shining the spotlight on members of the vast Florida tennis community. Read More
  • New England
    Hooks Inspires in NE
    February 14, 2021
    It’s safe to say, Marcus Hooks has accomplished more in his tennis career than the average 25-year-old. That’s because he’s not your average 25-year-old. In just a quarter century, Hooks, who grew up in Norwalk and Stamford, CT, played college tennis, is in his 10th year coaching, founded his own Community Tennis Association (CTA), serves on the USTA Connecticut Board of Directors and has now made history as the youngest member of the USTA New England Board. Read More
  • Mid-Atlantic
    BHM: Claris Brock
    February 11, 2021
    USTA Mid-Atlantic is showcasing Black players from the Section who display their everyday passion and commitment to tennis. We're excited to catch up with league player Claris Brock and hear her thoughts on tennis in the Mid-Atlantic. Read More
  • National
    BHM NJTL: Rochester, NY
    February 10, 2021
    Theresa Bowick began Conkey Cruisers as a cycling program aimed at promoting health and wellness in Rochester, N.Y. - but after finding tennis, the sport proved to be a perfect match. Read More
  • National
    Bryan Shelton: BHM essay
    February 08, 2021
    In the latest installment of the USTA's first-person Black History Month narrative series, University of Florida men's tennis coach Bryan Shelton recounts his tennis journey from the public courts of Huntsville, Ala. to some of the biggest stages at all levels of the sport. Read More
  • Missouri Valley
    Fine Sisters Dynamic Duo
    February 08, 2021
    You probably know all about tennis great Althea Gibson, but do you know about one of her biggest competitors - and someone who called Kansas City home - Mary Etta Fine? Read More
  • Florida
    BHM - Marc Atkinson
    February 08, 2021
    USTA Florida is celebrating Black History Month this February by shining the spotlight on members of the vast Florida tennis community. Read More
  • National
    ITHOF celebrates BHM
    February 04, 2021
    The International Tennis Hall of Fame recently unveiled a comprehensive virtual exhibit to celebrate Black influence in tennis, and is celebrating Black History Month with a pair of free-to-attend webinars. Read More
  • National
    NJTL Spotlight: Tunica, MS
    February 03, 2021
    While tennis was never an integral part of Peggie Henderson's upbringing in Tunica, Mississippi, she's making sure that the sport is front and center for her hometown's next generation as executive director of the USTA Foundation NJTL chapter Family Biz Builder. Read More
  • Missouri Valley
    Penelton Legacy Lives On
    February 03, 2021
    The late Alvin 'Al' Penelton was considered by most as the gold standard of service line umpires in the game of tennis. But he was so much more than that to his family, friends and community. Read More
  • National
    Ashe: Grace of a champion
    February 02, 2021
    Hall of Fame tennis writer and historian Steve Flink reflects on the 'transcendent' impact that Arthur Ashe has had on our sport. Read More
  • National
    Gibson: A peerless pioneer
    February 02, 2021
    Champions are defined by more than trophy counts. They are defined by fortitude and courage, by heart and desire. All of these things were personified in Gibson. All of these things are required of pioneers. Read More
  • National
    Ashe, Gibson's legacy
    February 02, 2021
    Former USTA president Katrina Adams and other luminaries of tennis examine the historic impact of Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson on the sport, featuring archive footage. Read More
  • National
    Tiafoe: BHM essay
    February 01, 2021
    Frances Tiafoe leads the USTA.com Black History Month essay series. In his essay, Tiafoe discusses the importance—for him and for others—of giving back and using whatever platform you may have to advocate for positive change. Read More
  • Middle States
    Remembering Tribit Green
    February 01, 2021
    A local coach, volunteer and community advocate in the Philadelphia area, Tribit E. Green Jr. will be remembered in the community for his passion for tennis and his impact on wheelchair athletes, kids, and many others with special needs. Green passed away on September 27, 2020 at age 78. Read More
  • Florida
    BHM - Michael Fowler Jr.
    February 01, 2021
    USTA Florida is celebrating Black History Month this February by shining the spotlight on members of the vast Florida tennis community. Read More
  • Southern California
    SoCal Black History Month
    January 29, 2021
    In its purity, the sport itself knows no color barrier – the balls, the racquets, the nets all perform the same no matter who steps to the service line. Yet through the lens of history, tennis – as with baseball, golf, and others – suffered for decades the same racial inequity that divided politics, schools, housing, and so on. Read More

    Be Open

    The USTA's Be Open Campaign highlights those who exemplify the spirit of "being open" and is designed to inspire others to be a catalyst for change in creating a better future for us all. 

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