I Always Wanted To Be Somebody
Part 6

Althea Gibson

Althea never forgot her welcome home after winning Wimbledon in 1957.

One of the high spots I am not likely ever to forget from my tennis career is my welcome home to New York a couple of days after I won at Wimbledon. I truthfully did not expect anything like what happened when I got off the airplane.

There was a crowd, including my mother and a city official who was representing Mayor Wagner, and a whole lot of newspaper, radio and television people.

They tell me my mother was one of the first people to get to the airport, and I know she was the first person I ran up to when I got off the airplane. I guess she cried a little, and I heard her telling the reporters, "I always knew Althea could do it."

I remember thinking I was glad she did because I hadn't always been so sure. But it made me feel good right down to the tips of my toes to see Mom so happy.

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Althea Gibson: I Always Wanted To Be Somebody

I Always Wanted To Be Somebody is the intimate and candid story of a girl who grew up in the asphalt environs of Harlem, skipping school, drinking hard liquor, stealing and fist-fighting, but went on to break the color barrier in tennis and achieving the pinnacle of the sport by winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and becoming an inspiration for many future champions such as Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Venus Williams, and Serena Williams, among many others.

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