Black History Month – Busting Jim Crow Tennis

Don Budge Wimbledom champ
My great uncle is famous for losing.   It was a big loss and a historical win at the same time.  He lost to this man – Don Budge grand slam champ in 1940.  Uncle Jimmy was the ATA tennis champ at the time.  I wonder what it is like to be a famous loser/winner?  Jim Crow tennis got busted that day.  I don’t know much about any of this from my own family.  What I do know is Jimmy and my grandmother Aileen were brothers and sisters.  I know my Dad and Jimmy’s son Willis were practically best friends/brothers since they eventually ended up together (read raised) by my great grandmother Ruby McDaniel.  I know my father used to talk a bit about tennis and golf in LA and not being so impressed with being around crackers and all of that.  Tough talk I know.  Life is complicated.  Life isn’t what it seems it should be.  I read recently in an excerpt from an eBook on blacks and tennis that Jimmy was sent from LA to Northern California on a statutory rape charge – getting a 15 year old White girl pregnant.  This is the kind of stuff you read about because no one in your family is going to talk this type of stuff out loud.  Still – losing makes you stronger.  I am proud of this winning loser!,9171,761915,00.html