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Before the Williams Sisters - Margaret and Matilda Peters, affectionately known as ‘Pete” and Repeat’. The Peters made history with their doubles record from the 1930s to the 1950s. At a time when African Americans were not allowed to compete against whites, the Peters sisters played in the American Tennis Association, which was created specifically to give blacks a forum to play tennis competitively. Inducted into the USTA’s Mid-Atlantic Section Hall of Fame in 2003.

from British Vogue

May Culture Guide

May 12 Channel your inner Williams sister at this week’s Tennis Tuesday. Part of a collaboration between the Lawn Tennis Association and Nike, the sessions are being held nationwide in order to boost women’s involvement in sports. Choose between training with professional coaches or simply practicing with others of your skill level. Find a court near you at


Ora Washington- This tennis star of the late 1920s and early '30s was Venus and Serena rolled into one. The Philadelphia native was the first Queen of Tennis: She was the undefeated women's singles champion of the American Tennis Association from 1929 to 1935. Also a star center for the Philadelphia Tribunes and the Germantown Hornets basketball teams, Washington was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.


Lucy Diggs Slowe (1885-1937) One of the original 16 founders of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the first sorority founded by African-American women. In 1922, Slowe was appointed the first Dean of Women at Howard Univeristy. She was also a tennis champion, winning the national title of the American Tennis Association's first tournament in 1917.

from The 6th Floor Blog


The Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, the greatest sister-act professional tennis has ever seen, succeeded against all odds, and with the help of their visionary parents, made it to the top. Venus, a 7 time grand slam winner (singles) and Serena, 17 time grand slam winner (singles) is ranked World No.1 by the Womens Tennis Association.


Firsts In Women's Sports History

Photo Gallery: Firsts In Women's Sports History - Lucy Diggs Slowe becomes the first African-American woman to win the first women's title at the American Tennis Association national tournament.


Robert Walter Johnson (April 16, 1899 - June 28, 1971) was an American physician and founder of the American Tennis Association Junior Development Program for African American youths, where he coached and fostered the careers of tennis greats, Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson. He graduated from historically black Lincoln University of Pennsylvania where he was a classmate of Melvin B. Tolson. He was a graduate of historically black Meharry Medical College.