This excellent and important new online feature by Dan Good of ABC News, about the New York Renaissance all-black professional barnstorming basketball team and the famous Harlem venue in which they played, is a breakthrough in several ways.
First, the article is thoroughly researched and nails some of the intricate details of the teams history and of the ballroom that are often overlooked, especially in appreciating the importance and relevance of the structure when it was built.
Next, the piece’s beautifully designed visuals are so engaging that they would be poignant just standing alone without an accompanying article. The extent of this treatment has never been done before in covering any aspect of the Black Fives Era.
Then, the thoughtful reaching out to descendants of the New York Rens for their historical perspectives goes a long way in validating the fact that their voices matter too. We are often asked, why do they constantly invite “talking heads” to panel discussions or TV segments when the actual family members of the players who actually played are available? So this is a great step in that direction.
Finally, this wonderful feature includes a rare and heartbreaking video of the interior of the historically and culturally priceless Renaissance Ballroom as it looks today after years of neglect and decay. The building faces demolition, however there is an active movement by community residents, architectural preservationists, historians, political leaders, and others to save as much of the structure as possible, with special focus on its façade.
Please visit this online article to see for yourself how cool it is, and then feel free to share it with your friends.