Cultural Literacy: Arthur Ashe

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Arthur Ashe, the great tennis player and humanitarian.

Have you, by any chance, read Mark Mathabane’s memoir of life in apartheid-era South Africa, Kaffir Boy? Mr. Mathabane also played tennis–quite well–and came to the attention of tennis legend Stan Smith at the 1977 South African Championship in Johannesburg. Mr. Smith worked with Mark Mathabane to secure a tennis scholarship, and in 1978 Mr. Mathabane matriculated at Limestone College in South Carolina, aided by a tennis scholarship.

However, in November of 1973, Arthur Ashe traveled to South Africa to play and in so doing broke the color line in sports in the apartheid state. I remember at the time–I was pre-high school–thinking Mr. Ashe was an American hero. Today, there is little doubt of that. In any case Mark Mathabane devotes chapter 38 of Kaffir Boy to the deep impression Arthur Ashe made upon him. You’ll find a nice, uncluttered summary of that chapter at Lit Notes.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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