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 #368: Arthur Ashe Handwritten Draft of a Speech on Black Youth From the End of His Life -- With a Program From The Event -- ''...many are willing to 'write [young black men] off'...they are so wrong...''


Arthur Ashe's handwritten draft of a speech he delivered on the challenges of motivating the educators of impoverished black youth. He titles it, ''N.Y. Regional Assn. of Grantmakers'' and dates it 20 November 1992, just months before his death. In Ashe's assertive address, he mentions the NCAA's then-newly-passed minimum GPA requirement for student athletes and tackles prejudice and education. Draft begins, ''Good morning. I am pleased to be able to share a few thoughts with you concerning innovative solutions to current problems of African American young males...They are disconnected, ostracized, feared, and sometimes loathed by much of the rest of society. As an athlete, I am (ad have been for almost 30 years) called upon to talk with, cajole, persuade, badger, convince, and negotiate changes in their negative attitudes and behaviors. They are not a lost cause, but the public perception exists as such, and many are all too quickly willing to 'write them off' as being congenital misfits, inherently unable to live peaceful and constructive and responsible lives. They are so wrong, and I say that from experience...'' Ashe pragmatically enumerates the obstacles to their success, citing the need for balanced sports and education programs: ''...A necessary first step is to counter and replace the current gunslinger image of young African-American males...Part of the challenge here is to convince people that adopting as a paradigm the traditional white, middle-class Ozzie and Harriet model for everyone is not only unrealistic, but actually harmful. We are seeing now that...(1) the family unit as we have previously envisioned and defined it is a faulty notion that needs adjustments...my involvements with the collegiate varsity sports' attempts to arrest the exploitation of African-American males...led to the adoption of a well-intentioned but crude piece of legislation known as Proposition 48, passed by the NCAA in winter 1984-85...Many black educators...were incensed, and I was incensed that they were incensed...Troubled young black males believe there are just 3 viable ways to escape the tyranny of their neighborhoods: sports, entertainment, drug trafficking. As such, many are more than willing to accommodate unscrupulous assistant coaches who first want to help head coaches fill up their college stadiums...I would urge you to seek out groups that try to serve the entire child (boys in particular) to include the medical, social, educational, spiritual and the physical parts of the passage from childhood to adulthood...L.A. riots - budget cuts left 9-13 years leaderless / 13 year old black boys the most vulnerable...sports allows them...to internalize the causality between best efforts and reward (both physical and emotional), accept the notion of fair play, and to deal with losing...Synthesize a model to fill a need and put it together.'' Accompanied by a program from a New York church measuring 5.5'' x 8.5''. Near fine. 7pp. on 6 ruled sheets comprise Ashe's eloquent address. Torn from a spiral notebook, six pages on six separate sheets (ideal for framing) measure 8.5'' x 11''. Ink bleeding and smudging to a few words, else near fine. With an LOA from Arthur Ashe's widow. A fine example of Ashe's legendary humanitarian efforts, here as his dear cause of racial advocacy.
Final Bid (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,597
Minimum Bid:$1,000
Number of Bids:4