Black Fives

  • Release Date:     ISBN: 556853510435063
  • Genre: Basketball     Publisher:
  • Print Length: pages     Language:
Score: 4 0 5
21 Ratings

Black Fives Book Summary

Formed in 1904, the Alpha Physical Culture Club of Harlem was America’s first African American athletic club. Conrad Norman, its Jamaican-born founder, hoped to address rampant lung disease among blacks living in New York City’s overcrowded tenements by providing proper exercise facilities they could use without bias. The club’s basketball team, the Alpha Big Five, became nationally famous during the 1910s while sticking faithfully to the strictest amateur ideals. West Indian sports promoters were controlling black basketball then, and favored this approach. But the times were changing. The Alpha’s version of pure sport for its own sake was threatened by new black fives with visions of play-for-pay, led by team owners like fellow Caribbean immigrant Robert Douglas. Which ideal would prevail? The future of basketball was at stake.

The author is the President and Executive Director of the Black Fives Foundation, which works to research, preserve, exhibit, and promote the pre-1950 history of African Americans in basketball to engage, teach, and inspire youth and others while honoring its pioneers and their descendants.

The book includes a foreword by world renowned D.J., sneaker aficionado, publisher, voiceover artist, television personality, record label owner, writer, radio host, M.C., author, and film director Bobbito García.

There is also a Reader Discussion Guide included at the end of the book.

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Black Fives - Claude Johnson Reviews

  • Great story behind the story

    By cmcjfay
    If you love BB and history and good stories, this is a greg book. Everyone knows the NBA but this book tells the story behind the story of African Americans in BB. There was a whole world of BB before the NBA that is fascinating and fun to learn. Not just in terms of African Americans in BB, but also in how and why the game was played by everyone. You don't have to be a BB expert or a history buff to follow and enjoy the characters and events and stories.
  • Great Insight

    By Iphiwin
    Great knowledgeable book that told the story of the beginning of basketball in the black community. I'm a avid Negro League fan and I knew some Negro League players and owners played basketball so that was my motivation to read this book. what I found by reading was amazing!! I did not know that 1st generation West Indian immigrants were such a dominant force in African American basketball nor did I know that Amateurism was such a important concept. Great book great insight Thanks for bringing this history to light.
  • Fives

    By Bdhddjs

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