On Ash Wednesday, there is no better person to honor than Mr. Arthur Ashe!
Yes, he was an amazing athlete who undoubtedly inspired lots of African American boys and girls to pick up tennis rackets. But we remember Arthur Ashe today because of his fearless efforts to end apartheid in South Africa. We honor him because he gave money to the movement. He put his body on the line for the movement by getting arrested, because he knew that a better South Africa was possible.
On this Ash(e) Wednesday we remembered our mortality. So, we celebrate Arthur Ashe for telling the world that he had contracted AIDS. He told his story in the early 90′s, and used his public platform to advocate with and for other people living with AIDS and HIV. He boldly confronted his own mortality and filled his last years with acts of great generosity, compassion and kindness.
As we remember that we, too, will someday return to ashes, may we follow in the footsteps of Arthur – may we be generous and kind, compassionate and full of hope. Ashé.