Before Colin Kaepernick, there was Arthur Ashe. In 1968, one of America's most tumultuous years, Ashe emerged as an elite athlete who parlayed his fame as the first black man to win the US ...
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Before Colin Kaepernick, there was Arthur Ashe. In 1968, one of America's most tumultuous years, Ashe emerged as an elite athlete who parlayed his fame as the first black man to win the US Open tennis championship into a lifetime devoted to fighting injustice. The ASHE '68 Virtual Reality Experience brings viewers into the intimate moments right before Arthur Ashe's historic 1968 US Open win, an event that changed his life and the course of sports history forever. From the internal pressures he felt during this turbulent cultural shift, to walking down the halls of Forest Hills' all white West Side Tennis Club, to his historic pre-match press conference and winning match point - the viewer is right there, immersed in that historic day witnessing Ashe's defining moment as an athlete and emergence as an activist on the world stage.
This unique VR experience weaves together 360° video re-creations, archival material, and evocative, never-before-seen 360° sand animation to tell the story. ...
Sports and Activism. Arthur Ashe's important legacy
1968. The year of the Vietnam era at its peak; MLK and RFK murders; black activism and then...comes this great man creating a mark not only in the world of
sports but also in breaking barriers when it comes to racial affairs in America. Tennis player Arthur Ashe became the first African-American to win the US Open
tennis championship in 1968, trailing a successful career in the following years (beating up Jimmy Connors at Wimbledon in 1975 was another highlight). But where's the feature film about it? Not done but there's this short film
which combines animation with real actors to present the events that led to Ashe's ascent - his past before the match and the match itself (though briefly
In terms of seeing what that moment meant to his career, being the only black man in a white man's club and how he never had thought of the black
activism back in those early days, was fundamental in seeing his past; and then a brief moment of the match, he wins the game and things turn 180 degrees and
now he's more than just a winner; he's a changed man who fought for the cause and in later years an even bigger cause - which isn't depicted in the film - as
an AIDS actvist, creating a foundation with his name on it, after finding out he had the disease after a blood transfusion in the 1980's and AIDS claimed
his life in 1993. What's important is that many black sportists, black artists or others Ashe was involved in the cause, cemented grounds against discrimination,
not necessarily being in the battle front but being as someone who could inspire others like him to overcome their obstacles. He wasn't like O.J., who only
made the name and fame but brought almost nothing to the table when it comes to a greater cause (as he said in one interview: "I'm not black, I'm O.J.".).
As for the short film, I think it should go longer and without the animated sequences; and the 1968 winning match should be the main event then focus on the
importance on how it was to sports world and to the African-American community - if it was THAT important to them since baseball and basketball are sports were
they are more favorable to see and appreciate. But in any case, Arthur Ashe was the one who paved the way for a higher inclusion in the tennis world. A legacy
that needs to be remembered. 8/10
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