Expired October 11, 2021 3:00 PM
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Arthur Ashe is remembered as a pioneer and important human rights activist, but he didn’t start out that way. In the beginning of director Sam Pollard’s new film, Citizen Ashe, the titular subject makes it clear that while he wants to be the “Jackie Robinson of tennis,” he’s plenty happy to just leave it there. Though obviously aware of the difference between himself and the “symphony of white” as he called it, Ashe initially wasn’t interested in being anything other than a successful tennis player. 

As his star rose, it became clear that being the first comes at a cost regardless of one’s personal desire to keep the focus on the game. Ashe was soon seen as only out for himself compared to other major Black athletes of the day, including the likes of Muhammad Ali and John Carlos. So, despite the additional burden that being a famous and outspoken Black person in the spotlight carries, his evolution as an activist became his defining characteristic. 

Though his life was tragically cut short, Ashe would move beyond his status as a star athlete and become a hero to more people that he could’ve ever imagined.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    94 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States, United Kingdom
  • Premiere
    Southeastern US
  • Director
    Sam Pollard, Rex Miller
  • Producer
    Rex Miller, Beth Hubbard, Anna Godas, Steven Cantor, Jamie Schutz, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe
  • Filmmaker
    Sam Pollard, Rex Miller
  • Cinematographer
    Rex Miller
  • Editor
    Ben Sozanski, R.A. Fedde