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File #: 180778    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 9/13/2018 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 9/13/2018
Title: Honoring Philadelphia tennis and basketball legend Ora Washington upon her posthumous enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Class of 2018.
Sponsors: Councilmember Gym, Councilmember Bass, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Taubenberger, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Reynolds Brown, Councilmember Blackwell, Councilmember Johnson
Attachments: 1. Signature18077800.pdf
Title
Honoring Philadelphia tennis and basketball legend Ora Washington upon her posthumous enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Class of 2018.

Body
WHEREAS, Ora Washington was born in Caroline County, Virginia in 1898, and journeyed as a teenager to Philadelphia to seek economic opportunity. Upon moving to Germantown, Washington lived with her aunt before finding employment in a home on Springfield Avenue; and

WHEREAS, Ora Washington was an outstanding athlete from the moment she stepped foot onto a court. In 1924, likely as a distraction from the grief she felt after the death of her sister, Georgia, Washington started playing competitive tennis at the segregated branch of the Germantown YWCA, which was founded in 1918 to provide activities for the growing population of young Black women who flocked to Philadelphia during the Great Migration; and

WHEREAS, Washington soon rose to the top of the Black women's tennis circuit nationally. In September of 1924, she won the singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles at the city championships in Wilmington, Delaware. A year later, she won the women's doubles national championship at the American Tennis Association National Tournament with fellow Philadelphian Lula Ballard; and

WHEREAS, Over the course of her tennis career, Washington won eight national singles championships, 12 doubles champions, and three mixed doubles championships. As the Chicago Defender reported, Washington's "superiority is so evident that her competitors are frequently beaten before the first ball crosses the net." Despite her dominance and eagerness to compete across racial lines, however, competitive tennis was bound by unrelenting racial division until well after Washington's tennis career came to an end; and

WHEREAS, In the midst of her illustrious tennis career, Washington became a renowned basketball player. In the fall of 1930, she joined the YWCA-sponsored Germantown Hornets. She played ce...

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