Arcadia Athletics to Present Viewing of Althea, Documentary on Legendary Women’s Tennis Star and Black Athlete

By Daniel DiPrinzio | February 18, 2022
Tennis legend Althea Neale Gibson posing with a tennis racket

On Monday, Feb. 28, the Arcadia University community is invited to a virtual viewing of Althea, a documentary on tennis legend Althea Neale Gibson, one of the first Black athletes to cross the color line of international tennis. Arcadia community members can view the documentary, which begins at 7 p.m., through this link. Community members are also invited to the Commons Meeting Rooms 1-3 for an in-person viewing of the virtual event. The screening and Q&A are presented by Arcadia Athletics with direct support from the Athletics Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ADEI) Committee in planning the event.

Following the documentary, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Alex Otieno and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Representative Julia Paraboschi ’22 will lead a reflective conversation with two esteemed panelists from the Black Women in Sports Foundation (BWSF): 

  • Dr. Alpha Alexander
  • Coach Alison Williams Bruno

Interested individuals can submit questions in advance of the viewing by clicking here.

About Althea Neale Gibson
Althea Neale Gibson (1927–2003) was an American tennis player and professional golfer and the first Black athlete to cross the color line of international tennis. In 1956, she became the first African American to win a Grand Slam title (the French Championships). The following year she won both Wimbledon and the US Nationals (precursor of the US Open), then won both again in 1958 and was voted Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in both years. In all, she won 11 Grand Slam tournaments: five singles titles, five doubles titles, and one mixed doubles title. Gibson was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. She was also the first African American woman to join the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour.  

The documentary earned Best Film at the American Black Film Festival in 2015 and The Documentary Award at the Women’s International Film and Television Showcase Foundation’s International Visionary Awards. 

About Our Panelists
Alison Williams Bruno is a veteran lacrosse coach with over 34 years of coaching experience. She was a member of Temple’s 1984 national championship lacrosse team, has been the Head Coach at Towson, Georgetown, and Villanova, and is the volunteer assistant at Howard University. She is also a coach for the Iroquois Nationals (Haudenosaunee) World Cup team and volunteers with the Black Women in Sport Foundation

Dr. Alpha Alexander is the chairperson of the Morristown Task Force on Diversity. She also worked in Women’s Athletics at Temple University, the YWCA of the USA National Office, and as chancellor to the New York City Board of Education Office. Alexander taught at Walter State Community College and Lane College and served on the Olympic and Pan-American Sports Advisory Council, the United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors, and was president of the Arthur Ashe Foundation. In 1992, Alexander co-founded the Black Women in Sport Foundation with Tina Sloan Green, Nikki Franke, and Linda Greene. 

Black Women in Sport Foundation
Established in 1992, the Black Women in Sport Foundation, or BWSF, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase the involvement of black women and girls in all aspects of sport, including athletics, coaching and administration. BWSF’s work, however, is not limited to black women and girls. It enrolls girls and boys in the programs conducted throughout the city of Philadelphia and surrounding areas. It facilitates the involvement of women of color in every aspect of sport in the United States and around the world, through the “hands-on” development and management of grass roots level outreach programs.