Singer Elisabeth Welch dies at 99
LONDON (API - Elisabeth Welch, the American-bom singer
I who introduced the Charleston on Broadway and had show-stopping
I successes with Cole Porter's "Lxtve for Sale" and Harold Arlen's
"Stormy Weather," has died at the age of 99.
Welch died on July 15 at a retirement home in north London,
i Bom in New York City to a Scottish-bom mother and a father of
African-American and Native-American blood, she sang from an
early age. in school productions and in the
choir of at St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church in
New York, which was invited in 1923 to sing
a Broadway show called "Runnin' Wild."
Her first big part on Broadway was in the
chorus in Lew Leslie's "Blackbirds." which
starred Adelaide Hall, Ada Ward and Bill
"Bojangles" Robinson. She went with the
show to Paris. She later appeared in Porter's
"New Yorkers," singing "Love for Sale," a
song that caused scandal by referring to pros
Welch had first appeared in London in an
all-black review. "Dark Doines." at the
Leicester Square Theater in 1933, in which she introduced Harold
Arlen's haunting "Stormy Weather" to British audiences. She settled
in England, becoming a star of stage, film and radio.
Her London credits included the stowaway Cleo Washington in
Ivor Novello's "Glamorous Night" (1935), Novello's "Arc de Triom
phe" (1943), and the revue "Tuppence Colored," in which she sang
the Edith Piaf song "La vie en rose."
She also appeared in the radio show "Soft Lights and Sweet
Music" and films including "Song of Freedom" (1936) and "Big
Fella" (1937) with Paul Robeson, where the two performers broke
new ground for black actors by playing the stars, rather than simply
servants in the background.
In the 1970s, she garnered rave reviews for her appearance as the
grandmother in the musical "Pippin" and starred in "Tempest," direc
tor Derek Jarman's unorthodox film of the Shakespearean play, in
Welch had great success off-Broadway in 1986 with her one
woman show. "ATime to Start Living," and won an Obie award. The
same year, the Broadway version of her London hit. "Jerome Kern
Goes to Hollywood." brought her a Tony nomination, prompting crit
ic Frank Rich to declare her "a national resource too rare and precious
Welch was briefly married in her youth; there were no children.
The funeral was held July 21 at the Breakspear crematorium in Ruis
lip. north London.
Jones negotiating to fight Tyson, Lewis
MIAMI (AP) - WBA heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr.
could fight either Mike Tyson or Lennox Lewis later this year, but has
not entered into a deal for any future bouts,
his adviser said last week. i 1
Brad Jacobs. Jones' adviser, denied
reports that circulated Tuesday saying Jones
will fight Nov. 8 near Nairobi. Kenya, with
Tyson as the probable opponent.
"We have beep talking directly with Mike
Tyson and Lennox Lewis for prospective
opponents for Roy's next fight." Jacobs said.
"But as of yet, nothing is in stone."
Promoters in Nairobi announced last
week that Jones will defend his title at the
60j000-seat Moi International Stadium. But
neither Jacobs nor
Linda Padgett, Jones' personal assistant, said
they were aware of that fight being finalized.
Jones (48-1) became the first man in more
than 100 years to make the climb from mid
dleweight champion to the heavyweight title
when he defeated John Ruiz earlier this year
for the WBA crown.
Lewis, the WBC heavyweight champion,
said earlier this month he was considering
several options, including a matchup with
Jones. But he is more likely to fight a Decem
ber rematch with Vitali Klitshcko. who was
beating Lewis last month when the fight was stopped after six rounds
because of cuts.
Tyson hasn't fought since stopping Clifford Etienne in the first
round in February.
Miami mayor apologizes to
NAACPfor 1990 Mandela snub
MIAMI (AP) - Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas apol
ogized July 14 to the NAACP for the snubbing former South African
President Nelson Mandela received from local officials 13 years ago.
Penelas told 10JXX) delegates at the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored Peonle'v Q4th
annual convention that he went to Mandela's
home two years ago to apologize but that the
South African leader was ill and unable to
meet with him.
"I sat there to correct the wrong. I hoped
to offer then, and I offer now, an apology to
Nelspn Mandela for the way. he was received
' ih"Miam?".Penelas said to a standing ova
A three-year black tourism boycott of the
Miami area began after some city and coun
ty officials refused to welcome Mandela in
1990 when he spoke to a union's national convention at Miami
Beach. Local Cuban and Jewish leaders had condemned Mandela's
links to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Palestinian leader Yasser
Penelas is one of five Democrats seeking the U.S. Senate seat of
Bob Graham, who is running for president.
"I am proud of how far we have come," Penelas said. "President
Mandela's visit was one of the many challenges we have learned
The NAACP convention ran through July 17. It was the first
NAACP annual convention in South Florida since 1980.
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Trailblazing tennis sisters get their due
BY JON KRAWCZYNSKI
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -
Long before Venus and Sere
na, there were "Pete" and
Tuskegee University sis
ters Margaret "Pete" Peters
and Matilda Roumania
"Repeat" Peters dominated the
national tennis scene from the
late 1930s into the early 1950s
and, in doing so. forged a path
for other black players - such
as Venus and Serena Williams
- to succeed.
Yet despite their tremen
dous success on the court, the
Peters sisters are mostly for
gotten names in tennis lore.
"They are a shining exam
ple of a tennis legacy that's
unknown to most of Ameri
ca," said Camille Riggs
Mosley, who is co-writing
"Outside the Lines," a history
of blacks in tennis.
While black tennis greats
such as Althea Gibson, Arthur
Ashe, Zina Garrison and
Venus and Serena Williams
have been recognized for
years, the Peters sisters are
just now getting their due.
The once unbeatable dou
bles pair will be honored with
an achievement award at this
weekend's U.S. Tennis Associ
ation Federation Cup tourna
ment in their native Washing
ton, D.C. They also will be
inducted into the USTA's Mid
Atlantic Section Hall of Fame
on Nov. 15.
Roumania Peters Walker
died May 16 at the age of 85
after a bout with pneumonia.
Margaret Peters, 88, suffers
from Alzheimer's disease.
The belated accolades are
coming from an organization
that would not allow them to
compete in its tournaments in
their playing days.
In the face of racial segre
gation, the sisters joined, and
flourished in, the American
Tennis Association, which was
created in 1916 to allow
blacks to play competitively.
"Pete" and "Repeat" won a
record 14 ATA doubles cham
pionships on two streaks from
1938-41 and 1944-53.
Roumania also won ATA
singles titles in 1944 and
1946, the latter coming at the
expense of Gibson, who began
in ATA, coqipeted profession
ally against whites for the first
time in 1950 and has long been
considered the most successful
black woman in tennis history.
Mosley said their success
inspired blacks to do more
than just play tennis.
"In large measure, because
of the success of the Peters sis
ters, tennis introduced the
whole notion that college is
something 'I can do,' 'I'm
expected to do,' 'I should do,'
and 'There are people who
look like me who are doing
this,"' Mosley said.
The two began their
careers on the clay courts of
Washington, playing what
many at the time considered to
be a white person's game.
Playing in the ATA, Mar
garet first gained the attention
of Tuskegee Athletic Director
Cleveland Leigh Abbot in
1935. Abbot offered Margaret
a full scholarship, but She
decided to wait until Rouma
nia graduated from high
school. The two entered col
lege together in 1937.
"They were very close,"
said Frances Weekes, Rouma
So they headed to the
South together, into the heart
"Imagine piling into the
car to drive south to college to
Sec Tennis sisters on A4
Margaret "Pete" (left) and Rou mania "Repeat" Peters
are shown in this undated handout photo.
Sharpton calls for black input on Liberia
BY EDWARD HARRIS
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
ACCRA, Ghana - Black
Americans should help U.S.
officials decide whether or not to
send peacekeeping troops to
Liberia, Democratic presidential
candidate Al Sharpton said Sun
day in Ghana - where negotia
tors are working on a peace plan
despite fresh fighting in the war
torn West African nation found
ed by freed American slaves.
U.S. President George W.
Bush is considering whether to
send troops to bolster a promised
West African force that Liberi
ans hope will end more than a
decade of fighting in the coun
"The African American com
munity can have a lot of impact
on what position will come from
the U.S. government based on
where we want to go and recom
mend," said Sharpton, a civil
rights leader who plans to run in
the 2004 U.S. presidential elec
Sharpton is leading a delega
tion of prominent black Ameri
cans, including Princeton
African-American studies schol
ar Cornel West, to Ghana's capi
tal. where Liberian peace talks
are being held.
The group hopes to travel to
Liberia to meet with embattled
President Charles Taylor
although the fighting has
become increasingly fierce in
recent days with a rebel push
into the capital.
"The carnage must stop,"
Sharpton told The Associat
ed Press after meeting with rebel
and government delegates he
had yet to decide whether he
thought the United States should
commit troops to the country.
"America should do whatev
er it can in conjunction with
African leaders. What that
should be, we'll make that deter
mination after the talks," with
other delegates and possibly
Taylor, Sharpton said.
Bush has made Taylor's
departure a precondition for
sending troops. Taylor, a former
warlord and indicted war crimi
nal, has accepted a Nigerian
offer of sanctuary but said he
would only leave when what he
described as a "sufficient" num
ber of peacekeepers were on the
The west African regional
bloc mediating peace efforts in
Ghana has promised to send
1,500 peacekeeping troops in the
coming weeks to monitor a June
17 cease-fire agreement between
forces loyal to Taylor and rebels
seeking his ouster.
The United States - under
international pressure to send
See Liberia on A9
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