Perpetuating Ashe myth
6/30/2017, 7:45 a.m.
Re “Battery Park art project on tennis great Arthur Ashe to educate, elevate,” June 8-10 edition:
The City of Richmond continues to perpetuate the myth that the late tennis star Arthur Ashe learned to play tennis at Battery Park.
I could not find the year that the tennis courts at Battery Park were built, but I know they didn’t exist when Arthur Ashe learned to play tennis.
He learned at Brookfield Park, a large park for African-Americans on North Side where the Main Post Office is now located on Brook Road.
Brookfield Park had tennis courts and a swimming pool. The pool closed around 1957 because Shields Lake, the swimming pool located in Byrd Park for white people, was damaged and could not be repaired. The thinking was if white people couldn’t swim, neither should black people!
The tennis courts were in existence until the Main Post Office was built.
I hope the City of Richmond will change its website and the Free Press will check anything that comes from that site.
KATHRYN L. REID