Dear Friend,


I’m delighted to share with you below a letter from Julia Alexander! Please allow me to introduce her.

Julia is a descendant of Black Fives Era pioneer and star player Hudson “Huddy” Oliver, a four-time winner of the Colored Basketball World’s Championship. She’s also a founding member of our Board of Directors here at the Black Fives Foundation.

Dear Friend,

Happy Holidays!!

As we come to the end of this year, I would like to share with you some of my personal reflections on the progress we’ve made with the Black Fives Foundation.

I am grateful and appreciative of the interest and encouragement we’ve received from supporters like you. Also, I’m proud of the achievements we’ve accomplished in 2013.

To continue this progress, we need your help. Would you please consider making a contribution to our organization? Any amount you donate would be generous, whether it’s $5, $25, $100, or more.

Highlights from 2013:

Non-Profit Incorporation

Our new not-for-profit foundation was incorporated in January, and we have since merged the previous commercial entity, Black Fives, Inc., into our operations.

Dedication of Black Fives Day

Then, in a memorable recognition, Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared February 10, 2013 as “Black Fives Day” for the City of New York, with an official proclamation that was presented by New York City Housing Authority president John Rhea at a special celebration inside the Barclays Center during halftime of a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the San Antonio Spurs.

Julia Alexander and Hudson Oliver

Julia Alexander in the Barclays Center next to an image of her great-grandfather Hudson Oliver with the Smart Set Athletic Club basketball team of 1909. (Claude Johnson)

Permanent Exhibit at the Barclays Center

The occasion was the unveiling by the Barclays Center of a compilation of Brooklyn-related vintage African American basketball images permanently installed in the arena’s concourse. I’m proud to say that my great-grandfather, Hudson Oliver, was among the players represented in those images and over 40 of the descendants of those pioneers were invited to center court of that NBA game for special acknowledgement.

Hall of Fame Induction

In April, Edwin Bancroft Henderson, the “Grandfather of Black Basketball,” was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the culmination of an effort that was initiated by our executive director, Claude Johnson, more than 10 years ago.

New York Historical Society Exhibit

Looking forward to next year, in collaboration with the New York Historical Society, we are finalizing the first-ever Black Fives museum exhibition, set to open in March 2014 and run through July 2014.

Would you like to see and experience more of these kinds of breakthroughs, engaging the hearts and minds of today’s youth as well as advocating for the recognition of once-forgotten but important black basketball pioneers? If so then will please consider helping our efforts?

Your contribution in any amount makes a real difference toward activating more opportunities for community engagement, creating more compelling content, furthering important research, cataloging and preserving important historical artifacts, involving more descendants, advocating for additional Black Fives Era pioneers, and expanding our overall activities.

Not only is our family grateful for the work and efforts of The Black Fives Foundation, but also I am grateful for your support, encouragement, and enthusiasm as a loyal friend and supporter.

Thank you very much,


Julia Alexander

It’s an exciting time, and we appreciate that you’re with us on this journey to “make history now!”

Wishing you and your family peace and blessings during this holiday season and beyond!

Yours truly,


Claude Johnson
President & Executive Director
The Black Fives Foundation