February 2013 Auction Ends Wednesday, February 6th, 5pm Pacific
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on: 2/6/2013 8:08:00 PM

Lot #367: Arthur Ashe's Handwritten Notes for a Speech to Black Graduates -- ''...Affirmative action for me was a last resort...The rest of America basically doesn't like us...''


Arthur Ashe's speech to black graduates written in his hand. Ashe here drafts a somewhat sobering address to black college students at an unnamed graduation. He first congratulates his audience on their successes, opening with, ''Good Evening / - Thrilled to be talking and listening to, as W.E.B. duBois called you, 'Our Talented Tenth'. You have obviously resisted the tyranny of the neighborhood - that defeatist and basically cowardly notion that to excel in academics is to succumb to a 'white thing' or that you are fools to apply yourself when there may be easier ways to get over...you have made a conscious personal decision to be assertive, forthright, honest, and demanding about your future...and you will willingly assume the role of role model to others...'' He heads the next section, ''My Personal Journey'' and notes ''Richmond & segregation...no favors...'' He discloses, ''...Affirmative action for me was a last resort, and then only because I suspected foul play...The rest of America basically doesn't like us / I had to be 2x as good as the next guy...'' He follows this with a numbered list of 8 heartbreaking predictions for his audience: ''...You: will for the rest of your life be suspected of being where you are because you're a minority (quota)...spend enormous...energy defending your personal self-image...have more difficulty than most getting a loan to buy a house but buying drugs will be easier...society will expect less from you and you may be tempted to believe it...will accumulate a history of hurts by age 50 that could make an HBO movie...black women will have difficulty finding a husband: 6 in 10 at age 30 with B.S. = divorced with one child / 7 in 10 at age 30 with M.S. = single...more likely than most to be the only college graduate in your immediate family, so you will be called upon to take care of more than just your wife/husband & children...by the year 2000 some of you will be working...and you will be a member of the 2nd largest minority in America...'' Under the next section, entitled ''An Ideal Profile (can't miss)'', Ashe writes, ''1.) Graduate of a 4-year school = magna cum laude / work experience / graduate school at Harvard, Stanford, Cal Tech, MIT...Speak Spanish plus Japanese, Chinese, or Russian / Community involvement / A serious hobby''. He concludes with ''Have tried to impart some advice, and I want to wish you good luck, because you'll need it. Congratulations.'' Runs 3pp. on three separate ruled sheets (ideal for framing) torn from a spiral notebook and measuring 8.5'' x 11''. Near fine. With an LOA from Arthur Ashe's widow.
Final Bid (Includes Buyers Premium):$3,120
Minimum Bid:$1,000
Number of Bids:7