Racial Pioneer And Tennis Great Althea Gibson Honored In Newark

March 28, 2012 12:00 AM

Racial Pioneer And Tennis Great Althea Gibson Honored In Newark
" NEWARK, NJ (CBSNewYork) - She fought for civil rights while proving to be one of the world’s greatest athletes, and on Wednesday the late Althea Gibson was honored in Newark.

A bronze statue that was unveiled at Branch Brook Park depicts Gibson reaching skyward to hit a tennis ball, WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell reported.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King was at the unveiling, and the 12-time Grand Slam champion hopes that this ceremony serves as an inspiration.

WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell reports

“You can touch it, it’s tangible,” King said. “You can see it, you can feel it, you can live through it.”

While Gibson was known for breaking tennis’ color barrier in 1950 and being the female Jackie Robinson, King was more moved by her greatness.

“I know I’m a white girl — and I knew she was black — but I didn’t think of it,” King added "

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