Local

Atlanta’s Pool Checker Players Battle It Out In Vine City

Willie ''Big Willie'' Robinson stands outside the Georgia Pool Checkers Association, where he has been playing checkers for more than 30 years.
Willie ''Big Willie'' Robinson stands outside the Georgia Pool Checkers Association, where he has been playing checkers for more than 30 years.
Credit Stephannie Stokes / WABE

Listen to the audio story.

Just off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Atlanta’s Vine city neighborhood, there’s a home with a blue sign on the front that reads “Georgia Pool Checkers Association.” 

For nearly 50 years, it has been a meeting place for African-American men around Atlanta who play a game called “pool checkers.”

While the club doesn’t have as many members as it once did, you’ll still find a handful of men there just about every afternoon, battling it out over a checker board.

In this Atlanta Sound, checker players Stuart Knox, Willie Robinson, Elmer Mixon and Rev. Willie H. Sumlin discuss the difference between pool checkers and straight checkers, nicknames and their time playing together.