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Great Lives Lecture- Billie Jean King

March 14 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Billie Jean King

Lecture Date: March 14, 2024

The UMW James Farmer Multicultural Center Lecture

When Billie Jean King set out to be a champion tennis player in the 1960s, she quickly realized the world she wanted didn’t exist yet for women. So she set out to help create it. Her early life played out against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the pro-choice and anti-war protests of the 1960s. (The LGBTQ+ movement would come later.) Looking back now, King says, “There wasn’t just unrest in the world around us. There was a storm gathering inside me.”

King’s subsequent achievements as an athlete and activist moved Life magazine to name her one of the 100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century. She turned 80 in November and has never left the public arena nor stopped traveling the world to work for diversity, equity and inclusion.

In this Great Lives session, longtime journalist Johnette Howard, who co-wrote King’s best-selling 2021 autobiography All In, will explore the animating principles and takeaways King has gleaned during her life as an activist – observations that can apply to anyone’s life. Many of the gains that King and others fought for in the last century are being re-argued today.

Speaker: Johnette Howard

Johnette Howard is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist who has worked as a national columnist and longform writer for Sports IllustratedThe Washington, and Newsday, among others. Her writing was nominated for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in general commentary and has been included in nine anthologies, most notably Best American Sports Writing of the Century, which was published in 2000 and edited by David Halberstam.

Howard is the author of two critically acclaimed books. She co-wrote All In: An Autobiography with Billie Jean King (2021). Howard’s first book was The Rivals: Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, Their Epic Duels and Extraordinary Friendship (2005).


March 14
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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University of Mary Washington


Dodd Auditorium
George Washington Hall, University of Mary Washington
Fredericksburg, 22401
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