Arthur Ashe Crossing the Line
Territory: USA & Canada
Size: 9.25 in x 10.75 in
- Impressive series of one hundred pictures by John G. Zimmerman, many never before seen, of tennis player Arthur Ashe - the first African American man to win a Grand Slam tournament
- Contributors include Maurice Berger, James Blake, Philip Brookman, Grant Farred, Wesley Hogan, Walter Iooss, Simone Manuel, Gael Monfils, Tom Okker, Ishmael Reed, and David Roediger
- John G. Zimmerman (1927-2002) is a true icon of American photography. For decades his pictures appeared on the covers of magazines like Time, Life and Sports Illustrated
"Zimmerman's photographs are not about Ashe's victory, or even tennis. They are fundamentally about the dignity, strength and quiet courage of this man, whose talent led him from the streets of Richmond to the U.S. Open men's singles title in 1968, a fatefully difficult year for the Civil Rights Movement and American politics in general." - Philip Brookman, National Gallery of Art
The year was 1968, 50 years ago, when Arthur Ashe won the first U.S. Open Tennis Championships. It was an iconic moment not only in sports history, but also in American history: Ashe was the first African-American man to win a Grand Slam tournament. It was also a year of seismic social and political change. This book retells this turbulent chapter in 20th century history through the lens of American photographer John G. Zimmerman, who had unique access to Ashe during and after the US Open final in 1968. It presents the highlights of this tremendous photo series, accompanied by essays from prominent public intellectuals, who discuss the role and complex character of Arthur Ashe, the importance of 1968 and the Civil Rights Movement, and the aesthetics of sports photography.
What the press have said about this book...
“Zimmerman’s photographs are not about Ashe’s victory, or even tennis. They are fundamentally about the dignity, strength and quiet courage of this man, whose talent led him from the streets of Richmond to the U.S. Open men’s singles title in 1968, a fatefully difficult year for the Civil Rights Movement and American politics in general.” - Philip Brookman, National Gallery of Art
“[John} Zimmerman documented Ashe’s US Open campaign in stunning detail. Through his work for Ebony – the most popular African American magazine in the US at the time – in the 1950s, Zimmerman shed light on the Jim Crow South and Midwest with a captivating subtlety that many of his contemporaries’ work did not have, and his account of Ashe’s title treads a similar path. The key to this collection is the insight Zimmerman offers about Ashe’s behaviour both on and off the court; rather than sticking to action shots during play, Crossing the Line presents a far more nuanced look at Ashe and how he conducted himself outside of the tennis court.” – Culture Trip
“But Mr. Zimmerman’s subway photograph presented a characteristically nuanced view of his historic feat, one commensurate with Mr. Ashe’s own belief that true heroism was ‘remarkably sober, very undramatic.’ Avoiding the limited representation of his subject as a consummate athlete or racial symbol, Mr. Zimmerman’s photograph revealed a dimension of his life downplayed by a media intent on lionizing him: his humanity.” – The New York Times
"They capture not just a sport in transition, but a man as well. Ashe would evolve from an athlete who could go unrecognized on the subway to a prominent civil rights advocate before his death in 1993. Zimmerman's photographs are a rare look at a star being born." – Sports Illustrated
“These never-before-published photos show tennis icon Arthur Ashe making U.S. Open history.” – TIME
“A new coffee-table book, “Crossing the Line: Arthur Ashe at the 1968 US Open,” chronicles 36 hours in the life of Ashe during his breakthrough title run that year – showcasing photos taken by John G. Zimmerman…” – US Open Online