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Althea Gibson was born in 1927 in Carolina, her parents were poor and their lively hood was under threat. As cotton pickers they received a small percentage of the profits for their labour but America was in the grips of savage drought and for three consecutive years the crops failed forcing them to uproot their small family. Althea was three when her parents moved her to their new home in Harlem, coming from a rural existence to a bad neighbourhood wasn’t the ideal, but a person does what they have to do to survive. Her father took on odd jobs and found work as a handy man but times were tough and he raised his little girl to be a fighter, teaching her to box and defend herself from an early age.