Historical highway marker to honor groundbreaking Durham tennis club

DURHAM (WTVD) -- The state of North Carolina will honor the Algonquin Tennis Club with a historical highway marker. The club was formed in 1922 in Durham to give aspiring African American tennis players a place to play.

Blacks were not permitted to join the United States Lawn Tennis Association in 1916, and the American Tennis Association became the nation's first professional sports league for African Americans.

The American Tennis Association then helped to created the Algonquin Tennis Club with Durham tennis enthusiasts giving them a place to play and socialize.

After more than a decade of meeting in private homes, the Algonquin Tennis Club House was purchased in 1934.

The Algonquin Tennis Club hosted tournaments for black athletes including Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe.

The club also provided a place for Durham's black elite to meet.

The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People was formed at the Algonquin Club in 1935.

The new marker honoring the Algonquin Club will be dedicated on Aug. 15 at the W.D. Hill Recreation Center in Durham at 6:30 p.m.
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