The East Orange School District is proud to celebrated the life, legacy, and achievements of Althea Gibson, the first African American tennis play to win a Grand Slam title. We believe in the power of sports to inspire and educated, and we are honored to pay homage to the trailblazing athlete.
Our very, own Althea Gibson Academy (AGA), hosted its 2nd Annual Althea Gibson Day. This
year, representatives from the Althea Gibson Foundation joined AGA’s school community in
honoring their namesake. Students learned about Ms. Gibson’s contributions to the sport of
tennis and her impact on race relations, equity and inclusion.
Additionally, scholars explored her interest in music and golf. As a part of the celebration,
students rotated through several interactive stations: Music, Tennis Foundations and The Life of
Althea Gibson.Ms. Michelle Curry, COO of the Althea Gibson Foundation was on hand to share artifacts and
memorabilia from Ms. Gibson’s personal collection. Ms. Curry stated, “Carrying on Althea’s
legacy has many layers. Before she even picked up a tennis racket, she broke barriers…the most
important thing to me in upholding her legacy, is to get it right.”
Coach Jean Gibson Szpara, a tennis champion in her own right, also joined the day’s festivities.
When asked about what Althea Gibson means to her, she responded, “Althea Gibson has always
been my hero. I learned a lot watching her play. As an athlete, it helped me to win competitions.
When I read about how she broke the color barrier, it touched me.”