Love beyond the White Lines: Using the Genius of the Harlem Renaissance to Reignite the Once-Forbidden Love between African Americans and Tennis

  • Ernest J. Quarles Temple University Press


My curriculum brings the Harlem Renaissance to life on the tennis court. Foremost in my mind is the need to nurture a collective consciousness that will foster confidence and competence in my students by expanding awareness of the prior successes of African Americans in tennis, linking these to achievements in Black history and culture, and helping them learn from the experiences of contemporary star athletes. In this place, only greatness is celebrated, and it is my fondest wish that only greatness will be inspired. I feel successful if I’m able to get my students to relax and let it flow, literally allowing the ancestors to provide the motivation and confidence to achieve. My highest ambition is to instill in every student not only the knowledge that tennis is now, has always been, and will always be an integral part of African American culture but also the confidence each one needs to discover the greatness that lies within.