Ways of Grace
Like many people of color, Blake has experienced the effects of racism firsthand—publicly—first at the U.S. Open, and then in front of his hotel on a busy Manhattan street, where he was tackled and handcuffed by a police officer in a case of "mistaken identity." Though rage would have been justified, Blake faced both incidents with dignity and aplomb.
In Ways of Grace, he reflects on his experiences and explores those of other sports stars and public figures who have not only overcome adversity, but have used them to unite rather than divide.
Weaving together poignant and unforgettable stories, Blake reveals how, through seemingly small acts of grace, we can confront hatred, bigotry, and injustice with virtue—and use it to propel ourselves to greater heights.
While his way back to the tennis court after debilitating injury and illness, Blake learned a paramount lesson – set attainable goals.
In this presentation, Blake talks about the power of goal-setting and how attainable, daily goals boost confidence and enhance your life.
James Blake inspired the world during an epic tennis career that featured 10 singles titles, a Davis Cup Championship, and a New York Times Best Seller for his memoir, Breaking Back. James turned pro in 1999 while he was the #1 collegiate player at Harvard University. In 2004, James overcame a potential career ending injury and a case of the shingles that temporarily left his face paralyzed and blurred his vision. Just one year later, James climbed from outside of the top 200 in the ATP rankings to his career highest ranking of #4. In memory of his father who lost a battle stomach cancer in 2004, James created the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Cancer Research Fund at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and holds an annual celebrity tennis and entertainment event, Serving for a Cure, to raise funds for cancer research and prevention. After an amazing 14 year career, James retired from professional tennis at the 2013 US Open. James lives in California with his wife Emily and daughters Riley and Emma.