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Join author and civil rights historian Raymond Arsenault as he discusses his highly acclaimed biography of tennis great Arthur Ashe.

Ashe’s premature death in 1993 at the age of forty-nine was a shock to many, especially to those who hadn’t even known his health was failing. At Ashe’s funeral, Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke of Ashe’s profound influence. He said Ashe was a man who “knocked down walls and built bridges.” “Most athletes limit themselves to achievements and contributions within the lines, but Arthur found greatness beyond the lines,” as “he turned anger into energy and stumbling blocks into steppingstones.”

In this masterful biography, Arsenault shows how Ashe built those steppingstones, paving the way for other athletes, leaders, and activists and leaving behind a legacy of dignity, integrity, and active citizenship.

Raymond Arsenault is the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. One of the nation’s leading civil rights historians, he is the author of several acclaimed and prize-winning books, including Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice and The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America.

6 pm reception/6:30 pm program

FREE and open to the public. Registration required.


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