1949 February 12

White Male-Only American Bowling Congress Picketed


Thirty thousand members of the American Bowling Congress (ABC), which only admitted white males, were greeted by civil rights picketers at their annual meeting in Atlantic City on this day. Fifty picketers sang the National Anthem and “Solidarity Forever.” The C.I.O. (Congress of Industrial Organizations) had sought to ban the meeting altogether. In response to the protest, the ABC promised a “thorough re-examination” of its membership policy. It finally revised the policy and admitted both women and people of color on May 12, 1950.

Because of the exclusionary policy of the ABC, African-Americans had organized the National Bowling Association in August 1939. Originally, it was called the National Negro Bowling Association; in 1944 it was renamed the National Bowling Association.

Learn more about the National Bowling Association: http://www.tnbainc.org/

Read the history of the struggle to integrate professional bowling: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+integration+of+the+American+Bowling+Congress%3A+the+Buffalo…-a0135210752

Learn more about African American history: Henry Louis Gates, Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008 (2011)

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