Councilman Jeffrey Johnson stated, “We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of FCTC. FCTC and the Rockefeller Park Tennis Courts are filled with history.
CLEVELAND – Forest City Tennis Club,America’s oldest African American Tennis Club, celebrates 100 years on Sunday, May 27, 2012 atRockefellerParkinCleveland,Ohio.
At 3:30 pm, a ceremony will be held renaming the Rockefeller Park Tennis Courts the Judge Jean Murrell Capers Tennis Courts atRockefellerParkand the tennis court driveway will be namedForest City Tennis Club Drive.
The courts will also be designated a historical landmark. This event is free and open to the public.
“Judge Jean Murrell Capers, 99 year oldClevelandpioneer, is very deserving of this honor,” said Kevin Strickland, Forest City Tennis Club (FCTC) president. “Not only was she the first Black woman elected to city council of any major U.S. city, served as assistant attorney general, elected a judge in the Cleveland Municipal Court received a Cleveland-Marshall College of Law honorary doctorate of laws degree and is the oldest living retired judge in Ohio.
She was a city wide tennis champion and is the oldest living member of the FCTC. It is only fitting that her legacy live on at the Rockefeller Park Tennis Courts.”
FCTC has stood the test of time. Established in 1912 by a group of African American professional men, the members played at a court located behindSt. JohnAMEChurchat E. 40th andCentral Avenue. They later began competing with other players inPittsburgh,Cincinnati,Louisville,Columbus,Detroit,ChicagoandBuffalo.
In 1946, an annual tournament rotated betweenCleveland,ChicagoandDetroit. This tournament became known as the Tri-City Tournament and will be played at the newly dedicated “Judge Jean Murrell Capers Tennis Courts atRockefellerPark” during the 100th Celebration of the FCTC.
FCTC has played at Rockefeller Park Tennis Courts for the past 60 years. It has been home to notable tennis players such as Leslie Allen, who was the 2nd African American Woman to win a major tennis tournament; Carlos Fleming, who currently represents Venus and Serena Williams as VP of Tennis at IMG and our very own Judge Jean Murrell Capers, who joined FCTC in 1935.
Councilman Jeffrey Johnson stated, “We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of FCTC. FCTC and the Rockefeller Park Tennis Courts are filled with history. There will be tennis players and members of the greaterClevelandarea and beyond on hand as the tennis court is designated a historical landmark.”
If you haven’t seen the Rockefeller Park Tennis Courts since its 2009 renovation, this will be a great time to visit. In addition to the dedication ceremonies, the celebration will serve as an opportunity for old and new FCTC members and friends to reminisce while participating in/observing the Tri-City Tennis Tournament.
For additional information call (216) 273-3744; email email@example.com or visit our website at www.fctclub.org.