the Black Fives

Sports
9:06 am
Sun March 16, 2014

Before The NBA Was Integrated, We Had The Black Fives

This 1943 publicity photo promoted the Washington, D.C., Bears basketball team.
Claude Johnson Courtesy of the New-York Historical Society

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 12:22 pm

Most people have heard of the Negro Leagues in baseball and of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in the late 1940s — but relatively few people have heard of the Black Fives, the African-American basketball teams that played up until the NBA was integrated in 1950.

An exhibit at the New-York Historical Society aims to rectify that.

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