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Breaking the Barriers: The ATA and Black Tennis Pioneers

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September 6, 2013 through January 4, 2014

Program Locations:

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, American Negro Theatre

Breaking the Barriers explores the history of the American Tennis Association (ATA), the oldest African-American oriented sport association in the country. It was founded in a time when the United States Tennis Association was not open to African-American participation. The ATA provided the backdrop for the careers of many black players, especially in the first half of the 20th century. Through interviews, photographs and archival video footage, Breaking the Barriers acknowledges the contribution of the ATA toward fostering the careers of black players and it features discussion of many prominent black ATA tennis players. Examining the dynamics of segregation in the sport, Breaking the Barriers shows how the ATA has contributed and continues to contribute to the integration of tennis.

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