The American Tennis Association (ATA)

Formed in 1916 by a group of African American businessmen, college professors and physicians, the American Tennis Association (ATA) has become the Mecca for blacks – from all walks of life – who yearn to enjoy the camaraderie and competition offered by a sport for youngsters from age 8 to 80.
Since its inception, the ATA, which is the oldest African American sports organization in the United States, has honored the founding fathers primary objectives:

• To bring black tennis enthusiasts and players into close and friendly relations,
• To improve the standards of existing clubs,
• To hold an annual national championship tournament,
• To regulate the dates of local and regional tournaments to avoid conflicts,
• To appoint referees and officials for each event, and
• To promote the standard of the game among black players.

The organization held its first ATA National Championships, consisting of three events (men’s and women’s singles and men’s doubles), at Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park in August 1917. In August 2005, several thousand players are expected to compete in more than 50 different events at the 89th annual ATA National Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla. Indeed, the ATA is the core of a growing, African American big-bucks demographic that has helped turn the tennis industry into a multibillion dollar business. Dr. Franklyn Scott, oral surgeon from Philadelphia, PA, was elected president of the American Tennis Association in 2010.  You can listen to him, as he explains, in this two-part interview, his vision and hopes for the future of the organization.  Dr. Scott’s videos are followed by the ATA’s “Looking forward to the ATA’s Centennial Anniversary.”

 

Dr. Franklyn Scott Part 1 from Bob Davis on Vimeo.

Looking toward the ATA’s centennial anniversary.

 



Comments
  1. WW|23:39, 25. January, 2012 Reply

    THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN TENNIS ASSOCIATIONS HAS REALLY GROWN FROM ITS BEGINNINGS TO 2012 AFRICAN AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL TENNIS CHAMPIONS. JAMES BLAKE, A HARVARD GRADUATE IS LISTED AS ONE OF
    MANY IVY LEAGUERS WHO HAS SPONSORED THE BLACK IVY LEAGUE TENNIS AND BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION AS A TRIBUTE TO EDUCATION AND HISTORY IN AFRICAN AMERICAN TENNIS. ADDED BY THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF UCLA GRADUATE ARTHUR ASHE, AND OTHERS LIKE ALTHEA GIBSON, THE ATA IS BUILDING A STRONG FOUNDATION FOR ITS HALL OF FAME TENNIS. THIS YEAR WE CAN WITNESS LIKES OF AFRICAN AMERICAN 14 YEAR PLAYING PROFESSIONAL TENNIS IN 2012. SHE IS FOLLOWING A LIST OF PROS LIKE JAMES BLAKE, VENUS AND SERENA, ALEXANDRA STEVENSON, CHANDA RUBIN, AND DONALD YOUNG AS CURRENT PLAYERS ON THE PROFESSIONAL TENNIS ASSOCIATION CIRCUIT. A HISTORY WHICH CAME FROM GREATS ASHE, GIBSON, ZINA GARRISON, LORI MCNEIL, CHIP HOOPER, AND RODNEY HARMON AS PIONEERS OF AFRICAN AMERICAN TENNIS. AND THERE IS A GLOBAL RECOGNIZATION OF BLACKS PLAYING FOR OTHER COUTRIES AS A INTERNATIONAL TRIBUTE TO STRENGTH IN NUMBERS. YANNICK NOAH (1983 FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION) WHO WORKED WITH ARTHUR ASHE. HAITI’S RONALD AGENOR (WHO HAD ONE OF HARDEST SERVES IN MENS TENNIS) ROSE TO RANK AS THE NUMBER ONE PROFESSIONAL PLAYER IN HIS COUNTRY. KNOWELS FROM THE BAHAMA, AND CURRENT 2012 AUSTRAILIA OPEN FRENCH PLAYER GAEL MONFILS . THERE IS A LOT OF DIVERSITY TO THESE PLAYERS, BUT THEY ALL HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON,SOMEONE IN A POSITION TO SPOT THEIR TALENTS EARLY IN THERE TENNIS CAREER WHO COULD TAKE THEM TO LEVELS NEEDED TO COMPETE AT THE PROFESSIONAL RANKS. TITLES LIKE DR. HEAD PRO TENNIS INSTRUCTER, AND COACH BROUGHT OUT THE BEST IN THESE PLAYERS. DR. JOHNSON FOR ARTHUR ASHE, ASHE FOR NOAH, AND COLLEGE COACHES LIKE HARRY EDMONDS OF NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY IN DURHAM NORTH CAROLINA . NOW AN EVEN GROWING NUMBER OF POTENTIAL HALL OF FAMERS ARE PLAYING PROFESSIONAL WORLD TEAM, AND PRO LEAGUE TENNIS TEAMS. THESE LEAGUES HAVE RAISED PROFESSIONAL TENNIS TO THAT OF THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (NFL), NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (NBA), MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL (MLB), AND THE NHL’S NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE. SEEING THESE PLAYERS COMPETE AS A TEAM OTHER THAN THE ELITE DAVIS CUP IS LIKE MARDI GRAS ON AN ANNUAL BASICS.

    NCCU ALUMNI (TENNIS)

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  13. Vij|9:15, 22. December, 2015 Reply

    When Arthur Ashe visited apartheid South Africa in the 70’s I was a young black boy who had just started playing tennis. I remember feeling very proud of being black after seeing such excellence coming from a man whose skin color was the same as mine. A few years later Ashe won Wimbledon, the 1976 uprising started and I was in prison at the age of 16. In SA we’ve also had black tennis players who’ve been to Wimbledon and other major tournaments. I’d like to compile that history. I’d like to learn from you. Vuyani

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