We feel super honored to be featured among its very first articles in this insightful and wonderfully written piece by Nick Schonberger about the Black Fives exhibition at the New-York Historical Society as well as about the origins and vision of our foundation and its efforts.
— Complex (@ComplexMag) April 25, 2014
Pioneers to This Ish: The Black Fives and the Birth of Basketball as We Know It – http://t.co/y2yYuS7Sz2
— Triangle Offense (@Tri_Offense) April 23, 2014
Here is an excerpt:
A solitary figure meets visitors just inside The Black Fives, a newly installed exhibition at New-York Historical Society. A “well-dressed basketball player” sporting flannel shorts, belted shorts, high stockings, and kneepads, he’s equipped for a game played out of the limelight, contested on floors with inconsistent floorboards and the occasional exposed nail. He embodies an era (the 1920s) in which basketball was still new and, like the rest of this country, still decidedly segregated. Surrounding the cutout, ephemeral documents and photographs illuminate a forgotten recent history.
Consider your typical chatter about basketball’s timeline. “Naismith, man. 1891.” We know the folklore. We know all about peach baskets. We know about that murky period when there was no three-point line and when dunks were outlawed. We can rattle off the names of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. But, what do we know about sport’s adolescence, young adulthood, and middle age? What do we know about the time when teams were called fives and what do we know of those fives made up of “colored” players?
The Black Fives, which opened on March 14 and runs through June 20, 2014, draws from the personal collection of Claude Johnson. A former employee of Nike and the NBA, Johnson (now an author and historian) founded The Black Fives Foundation in an effort to research, preserve, exhibit and promote the pre-1950 history of African American basketball teams.