The Arthur and Arthur Show: Ashe, Collins and the 1968 US Open

The two Arthurs sat in a broadcast booth high above Longwood Cricket Club and talked. One of them, Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr., was a bespectacled, 25-year-old African-American who had just won the National Amateur championship. The other, Arthur Worth “Bud” Collins, Jr., was a 39-year-old reporter who had just made his national debut as a TV commentator. Each was in the midst of a long-awaited professional breakthrough. This being the summer of 1968, so was the sport they loved.

Their conversation went out over WGBH, Boston’s public TV station. With no commercial constraints, Ashe and Collins talked at length about race relations in the U.S., the future of South Africa, and what it was like for Ashe to play at clubs that wouldn’t admit him as a member.

“I hope I…

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