In 1917, tennis champion Lucy Diggs Slowe (July 4, 1885 - October 21, 1937) became the first African-American woman to win a major sports title when she won the national title of the American Tennis Association tournament. It was one of several “firsts” she would achieve in her lifetime.
As an undergraduate at Howard University, Slowe was a founding member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., which in 1908 became the first sorority founded by African-American women. In 1919, Slowe was appointed principal of Shaw Junior High School, the first black junior high school in Washington, D.C. In 1922, Slowe returned to Howard as the University’s first Dean of Women. During her years at Howard (where she worked until her death in 1937), Slowe helped organize two professional organizations for women, the National Association of College Women (1924) and the National Council of Negro Women (1935). Both organizations still provide advocacy and support for women today.