Black Fives Foundation founder and executive director Claude Johnson appeared on NBC News 4 New York’s “Positively Black” segment with host Tracie Strahan and New-York Historical Society chief curator Stephen Edidin this past Sunday.
The three discussed the Black Fives exhibition currently at the museum and running through July 20, 2014.
It turns out by amazing coincidence that Tracie is close friends with Black Fives Era descendant Kevin Norman, the grandson of Conrad Norman.
Norman, along with his brothers, Gerald and Clifton, founded the all-black Alpha Physical Culture Club in 1904.
The brothers, who were Jamaican-born immigrants, also played for the organization’s basketball team, called the Alpha Big Five.
The Alpha P.C.C., the Normans, and the role of West Indians in the control and advancement of early African American basketball are explored in Claude Johnson’s book, Black Fives: The Alpha Physical Culture Club’s Pioneering African American Basketball Team, 1904-1923.
Of particular interest to Tracie was the fact that the Alpha organization had a sister basketball team called the New York Girls.
This squad, which in 1909-10 became the country’s first female all-black independently-run basketball team, was managed and coached by Conrad Norman.