Today’s Black History: Althea Gibson And Oprah Winfrey

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ALTHEA GIBSON

During black history month, we are taking the time to honor those who paved the way for us. Today (February 9th) we honor tennis player Althea Gibson. [“Today’s Black History maker tennis great Althea Gibson. Gibson was the first black person to win the women’s singles title at Wimbledon, England in 1957 and she successfully defended that title again in ’58. Althea Gibson was born in Silver, South Carolina in 1927 and brought up in Harlem. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M, and her first contact with tennis actually came through the game of paddle ball. Her amateur career began in the 1940’s and Gibson dominated women’s tennis in the late 1950’s. She coupled with Angela Buxton in ’56 to win the Wimbledon doubles competition and Gibson retired from tennis in 1958 to explore golf, becoming the first black woman to join the Ladies Professional Golfers Association Tour, The LPGA in 1963. Althea Gibson’s creative works include a motion picture The Horse Soldiers and she’s the author of the book ‘I Always Wanted To Be Somebody.’ Althea Gibson, A real history maker, a black history maker.”] Althea Gibson died of respiratory failure in 2003.

OPRAH WINFREY

In addition to honoring those who paved the way for us, we also want to celebrate those who continue to make black history. Today, we salute Oprah Winfrey. As a television host, producer and philanthropist, Oprah is arguably the most influential woman in America. The media maven is also the first African-American woman to become a billionaire and was the only
African American black billionaire in 2004-2006. Although it’s coming to an end after 25 years, Oprah’s show is one of the highest rated programs of its kind in history.

Through her multimedia empire, Winfrey produces the ‘Dr. Phil’ and ‘Rachael Ray’ television shows, publishes the best-selling O Magazine, and has her own satellite channel on XM radio. She has launched her own television station: The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).

Through her Angel Network, she founded the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa and the Oprah Winfrey Foundation.

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