Today, we take for granted seeing such African American tennis champions as Venus and Serena Williams. But it took someone like Althea Gibson, who was the first African American to win the All-England Tennis Championships at Wimbledon, on July 6, 1957, to pave the way for other blacks in tennis. Gibson, who was born in 1927 in South Carolina, grew up in the Harlem section of New York City. She began taking tennis lessons at 14. She struggled against segregation throughout her career; often she was denied entry into hotels and restaurants while on tour. Her perseverance made it possible for other African Americans, such as tennis great Arthur Ashe, to follow.