1919-1930s Williams Cup Trophy

James Williams, supervisor of the Grand Central Station of the New York Central Railroad Company, donated this trophy at the request of his friend, ATA President D. Ivison Hoage. Each year, the singles champions of the C.I.A.A. (Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association, now known at the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) and the S.I.A.C. (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference), would meet at the ATA (American Tennis Association) National Championships to compete on behalf of their college or university for the Williams Cup. The winning school would retain possession of the cup for one year.

Founded in 1916, the ATA is the oldest continually active African American sports organization. Black tennis clubs met in Washington DC and founded the ATA to combat their exclusion from mainstream tennis tournaments. Today, the ATA continues to be an important voice and advocate in Black tennis in the United States.

(photo: ATA National Champion, Dr. Reginald Weir)

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