New: The Black Fives Foundation

On December 31, 2012, in Community, Culture, Descendants, Family, Goodwill, Kids, by Claude Johnson

The mission of the Black Fives Foundation is to use the pre-1950 history of African Americans in basketball to teach, enlighten, and inspire, while honoring its pioneers and their descendants.

What’s your mission for the new year?

Ours here at continues to be this:

Use the pre-1950 history of African Americans in basketball to teach, enlighten, and inspire while honoring its pioneers and their descendants.

Now I’m proud to announce that we’re taking that mission to another level.

A couple of months ago we began taking steps to create a new charitable not-for-profit organization that will be called the Black Fives Foundation. Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws are finalized, and the selection of directors has begun.

Mission Five

This new foundation replaces the Black Fives Community Fund we had previously established. Though its mission and purpose will be similar to that of the earlier fund, the advantage of the new entity is that it will be able to expand its scope and efforts as well as its organizational structure further than with the previous “fund” set up.

The Black Fives Foundation will be its own separate entity, with its own governance and identity. Its new website, currently in development, will have its own URL:

The foundation will be organized under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and will be operated exclusively for charitable purposes to research, preserve, exhibit, and promote the pre-1950 history of African American basketball teams (the “Black Fives Era”) in order to:

1) teach leadership and character development,

2) promote educational advancement,

3) enrich appreciation of culture and the arts,

4) build fitness and health awareness,

5) encourage community-based youth programming,

6) advocate for the recognition of the era’s pioneers and their descendants, and,

7) enable these efforts through innovative uses of technology as well as via traditional means.

The Black Fives Foundation will continue to be a way for individuals like you to connect their interest in the pre-1950 history of African Americans in basketball with meaningful causes in the communities where the pioneering teams of the Black Fives Era originally played.

These locales include Harlem, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Pittsburgh, Newark, and Los Angeles.

Contributions to the Black Fives Foundation will help provide community-based organizations with the following services — at no cost to them:

  • Exhibitions & presentations
  • Research & preservation
  • Oral histories & documentation
  • Educational curricula & teaching tools
  • Digital media & web-based resources
  • Mobile & online apps
  • Advocacy for pioneers & descendants

The Black Fives Foundation is not yet accepting contributions. Please feel free, however, to a pledge an amount for 2013, which will be fully tax-deductible, and which you may give once the new organization is fully operational and fundable.

If you haven’t already done so, please sign up to join the email list so that you can get updates on the progress of this new and exciting effort.

Thank you very much in advance for your kind interest and generosity.

4 Responses to “New: The Black Fives Foundation”

  1. Joyce Hrinya says:

    GREAT IDEA Claude – Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family. Joyce

  2. Thomas R. Carter says:

    What are the qualifications for the Board of Directors?

    • Black Fives says:

      We are still working on the qualifications description even though we’ve already selected three directors. We’d like to get to a total of five, though the bylaws allow for nine. Certainly, aside from the usual governance, approval, development, and advisory roles, one of the main criteria for an ideal candidate would be a passion for making a difference in the lives of the foundation’s beneficiaries. If you have anyone in mind, including yourself, please let us know! Thank you!

  3. Carl Campbell says:

    this looks like you are off to another great start for the new year–harlem basketball lost some legends—ron jackson, carl (happy) felton–keep me posted on the black fives–

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Quote of the Month

“The wonder-player of ten or even five years ago lives only in the memory of contemporary worshipers of his brief scintillating days in the limelight. His picture hung on the walls of his Alma Mater, his name on a cup, a book of clippings, and the record of his team connect him with the string of those gone to live only in reminiscences.”
– Edwin Bancroft Henderson, 1939

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