Arthur Ashe on Social Maladies in American Society Term Paper by scribbler

Arthur Ashe on Social Maladies in American Society
A review of Arthur Ashe's "Days of Grace: A Memoir" on his treatment of racism, morality and the African-American society.
# 153140 | 1,339 words | 1 source | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on May 03, 2013 in Literature (American) , Sport (Players)

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The paper looks at Arthur Ashe's "Days of Grace: A Memoir" where he recounts his life, his struggle with AIDS, and his fight for equality in America. The paper shows how "Days of Grace" is not a traditional autobiography, but rather is a collection of Ashe's observations on various social issues he encountered in his life, especially the ones related to sports. The paper relates that sports was of secondary concern for him; his main concern was the plight of the African-American community and the importance of the struggle for equality. The paper also discusses his moral views on the irresponsible and immoral behavior that reflects now the African-American community and America as a nation at large and notes that Ashe is especially critical of the Black Power movement as well as the tendency of many black athletes to perpetuate stereotypes about African Americans. This author asserts that the most striking feature of Ashe's personality is his courage and consistency in criticizing racism, sexism and oppression of all kinds whether they are committed by whites or blacks.

From the Paper:

"Arthur Ashe was born during the era of waning segregation in Richmond, Virginia. His mother died when he was seven, and he was raised by his strict father who taught him the fundamentals of moral rectitude, through his words and behavior. His father's lessons served Ashe well and helped him to shape his own views on various social issues in the society. From institutional discrimination and constant struggle for equality, Ashe rose to super-stardom as the first black tennis player to win the most prestigious tennis tournament, after defeating Jimmy Connors in 1975 in Wimbledon. Ashe also successfully led the U.S. team in Davis Cup to victory for two consecutive years, in 1981 and 1982, coaching his former rival Connors and the legendary John McEnroe. Alongside his ups, Ashe certainly had his downs. He had a heart disease, and while receiving a blood transfusion during the treatment, he was mistakenly contracted with HIV virus. He died of the fatal disease on February 6, 1993. In his Days of Grace: A Memoir, written with the assistance of Professor Arnold Rampersad, a Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature at Princeton University and a biographer of Langston Hughes (the choice certainly was not arbitrary), Ashe recounts his life, his struggle with AIDS, and his fight for equality in America."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Ashe, Arthur and Rampersad, Arnold. Days of Grace: A Memoir. New York: Alfred A Knops, 1993. Print.

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