From Ohio History Central
William Pierson opened of the first African-American owned and operated bowling alley in the United States in 1940.The bowling alley was located in Cleveland, Ohio.
During this period, bowling was a very popular sport among African Americans living in cities. However, many black people were discriminated against at white-owned alleys. Some bowling alleys prohibited African Americans from bowling at all. The two main bowling associations during this period were the American Bowling Congress and the Women's International Bowling Congress. Both prohibited black people until 1951. In 1939, a group of African American bowlers formed the National Negro Bowling Association to help promote bowling among black people.