When Gibson won Wimbledon in July 1957, the Chicago Defender stressed that her victory was bigger than sports: “Althea Gibson, the newly crowned Queen of tennisdom, achieved more than a personal triumph in winning the Wimbledon tennis singles title. Her victory is a victory for Uncle Sam, for democracy and is a moral justification of the broad policy of the British tennis association. Miss Gibson’s sensational triumph at the historic Wimbledon, will do much to enhance the cause of the free world in areas where America’s racial bias formed the basis of hostility toward Uncle Sam. With a mighty stroke of her tennis racket, Miss Gibson dealt a staggering blow to Communism propaganda which has been fed the meat of racial segregation. This is counter-propaganda of a sort that is far more effective than any argument contrived to disprove the Communist allegations about America’s anti-Negro attitude.”
After her Wimbledon victory, Gibson returned home to New York City and was honored with a ticker tape parade (the first black person so honored since Jesse Owens). In a front-page story, the New York Amsterdam News reported that a block party was also planned for Gibson in front of her Harlem apartment on 143rd St, between Lenox and 7th Avenues. “I was as honored and elated to meet those kids out there on my stoop as I was to meet the Queen,” Gibson said.