Arthur Ashe

Algonquin Tennis Club, Tennis, Durham, Arthur Ashe, Black Sports
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A North Carolina Historical Highway Marker was unveiled Thursday, celebrating the all-black Algonquin Tennis Club. Tennis fans of all ages stood in front of the W. D. Hill Parks and Recreation Center in Durham for the unveiling on Fayetteville Street.

Arthur Ashe is known best as a tennis champion who achieved many firsts, including becoming the first and only African-American man to win a singles title at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open. But many do not know about his early years. Before he was acclaimed, Ashe was a small kid from Richmond getting soundly beat at the Algonquin Tennis Club in Durham’s Hayti District. The club sponsored annual tennis tournaments in the 1920s that would see the likes of Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson.