Lamb, Yanick Rice 1957–

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Lamb, Yanick Rice 1957–

PERSONAL: Born September 27, 1957, in Akron, OH; son of William R. Rice and Carmelie (Laforest) Jordan; married Michael Anthony Lamb, January 16, 1988; children: Brandon M. Education: Ohio University, B.A., 1980.

ADDRESSES: Office—John H. Johnson School of Communications, Howard University, 525 Bryant St. NW, Washington, DC 20059. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Toledo Blade, Toledo, OH, copy editor, 1980–82, reporter, 1983–84; Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, GA, copy editor, 1983–84; New York Times, New York, NY, news desk assistant layout editor, 1984–87, metropolitan copy editor, 1985, assistant editor of Connecticut Weekly, 1987–90, home and living section editor, 1990–91, assistant style editor, beginning 1991; Howard University, Washington, DC, currently journalism instructor.

MEMBER: National Association of Black Journalists, Women in Communications, New York Association of Black Journalists (secretary, 1985–86; vice president, 1986–87; president, 1987–88).

AWARDS, HONORS: First place award for news writing, Women in Communications, 1983.

WRITINGS:

NONFICTION

(With Sharne Algotsson and Denys Davis) The Spirit of African Design, photographs by George Ross, Clarkson Potter (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Frances Clayton Gray) Born to Win: The Authorized Biography of Althea Gibson, foreword by Bill Cosby, afterword by Venus Williams, John Wiley & Sons (Hoboken, NJ), 2004.

(With Greg Morrison) Rise and Fly: Tall Tales and Mostly True Rules of Bid Whist, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Former editor-in-chief, Heart & Soul and BET Weekend.

SIDELIGHTS: Yanick Rice Lamb collaborated with Frances Clayton Gray to write Born to Win: The Authorized Biography of Althea Gibson. Gibson was an athletic African-American woman who rose to fame at a time when the participation of both women and African Americans in sport was severely limited, yet she eventually became an international champion in the world of tennis. Gray was a lifelong friend to Gibson, and knew her during years of both triumph and decline. In Born to Win Gray and Lamb recount Gibson's struggles to make it to the top in a sport that was certainly among the most elitist of pastimes. Gibson first showed talent in golf, another sport traditionally dominated by the upper classes of white society. After redirecting her efforts toward playing tennis, she went on to win the Wimbledon and U.S. Open championships in 1957 and 1958. Yet despite her excellence, Gibson was passed over for lucrative endorsement contracts. Her life was marked by many difficulties, including two failed marriages and eventually a stroke that left her in considerable pain.

By the time she passed away in 2003, having reached the age of seventy-six, Gibson was living in obscurity, nearly destitute, and bitter about many things. Arthur Ashe, a black male tennis player who won at Wimbledon after Gibson's triumph, was widely heralded as the person who broke the color barrier in tennis, even though Gibson's achievement came earlier and was even more remarkable because she was a woman. Although such conflicts and injustice are central to Gibson's life story, a Publishers Weekly reviewer found that Born to Win "comes up short," glossing over the more-challenging aspects of Gibson's biography. On the other hand, as Wes Lukowsky wrote in reviewing Born to Win for Booklist, the book is "thought-provoking reading," and a contributor to Ebony rated it a "compelling portrait" of the tennis champion.

Lamb and Greg Morrison examine the history of the card game known as bid whist in Rise and Fly: Tall Tales and Mostly True Rules of Bid Whist. Bid whist originated and remains most popular among African Americans. Library Journal reviewer Janet Sassi found Rise and Fly to be "thin on history," but added that "it is plumped out with anecdotes illustrating the raucous flavor of the game." Wayne Dawkins, reviewing Rise and Fly in Black Issues Book Review, recommended it as "readable and entertaining" and "a great book to have."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Black Enterprise, September, 2004, Kenneth Meeks, interview with Yanick Rice Lamb and France Clayton Gray, p. 142.

Black Issues Book Review, November-December, 2005, Wayne Dawkins, review of Rise and Fly: Tall Tales and Mostly True Rules of Bid Whist, p. 78.

Booklist, September 1, 2004, Wes Lukowsky, review of Born to Win: The Authorized Biography of Althea Gibson, p. 47.

Ebony, November, 2004, review of Born to Win, p. 26.

Essence, September, 2004, review of Born to Win, p. 140; November, 2005, Margaret Williams, review of Rise and Fly, p. 96.

Library Journal, October 1, 2005, Janet Sassi, review of Rise and Fly, p. 97.

Publishers Weekly, August 9, 2004, review of Born to Win, p. 242.