Forbes Magazine had a nice article yesterday about how the Barclays Center — the new home of the Brooklyn Nets — is producing an unprecedented arena-wide arts and culture program. As part of this program, they will be installing vintage images from the Black Fives Era of basketball. The images are from the Black Fives Photo Archive, a compilation of historical imagery relating to pre-NBA history of African American participation in basketball.

The overall program “reflects our commitment to strengthening the connections between the Barclays Center and Brooklyn’s great cultural institutions,” says David Berliner, a board member of both the Barclays Center and The Brooklyn Museum.

The Black Fives Era images celebrate certain historic African American teams that made Brooklyn their home during the 1900s and 1910s.

The Barclays Center

The home court of the Brooklyn Nets, inside the Barclays Center.

Along with these efforts, the Barclays Center also has invited many of the known living descendants of those early Brooklyn-based Black Fives Era pioneers — men and women with family names such as Horne, Accooe, Trice, Hudson, Woods, and others — to its grand opening TONIGHT that kicks off with a Jay-Z concert.

A family tree generated at

A family tree generated at, a powerful ancestor-finding tool.

“What’s really cool about this,” says historian and author Claude Johnson, “is that these descendants haven’t met previously, but they will meet one another tonight, knowing that their grandfathers or great-grandfathers played on the same team or were friends back then, but the connection dissolved, until now!” Johnson is the founder and CEO of “I applaud the Barclays Center for their vision and genuine-ness in doing this,” he says.” Plus I can’t wait to these sons and daughters of Black Fives Era pioneers tonight myself.”

Discussion has begun regarding additional descendant-focused events in the future. Please stay tuned …