1/11/14

Basketball History Scholarship Contest

High school students from grades 9 through 12 are invited to enter the New-York Historical Society's Basketball History Scholarship Contest from now through February 24.

Students' original essays, videos or photos on the theme of breaking barriers and making history in basketball will be reviewed by a panel of distinguished judges who will choose the winners in each category.

The first prize of a $1,000 college scholarship will be awarded to the winning essay, photo and video.

Submission details are at  blackfives.nyhistory.org.

The contest is scheduled in coordination with The Black Fives—an exhibit opening in March at the New- York Historical Society Museum exploring the history of African-American basketball in the first half of the 20th century.

In the days after basketball was invented in 1891, teams were called “fives”, with segregated African-American teams called “colored fives,” “Negro fives” or “black fives", hence the Black Fives Era. 

In the Black Fives Era during the first half of the 20th century, dozens of all-black professional teams emerged in New York City, Washington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlantic City, Cleveland, and other cities with large African-American populations.

The exhibit, a collaboration between the New York Historical Society and historian-author Claude Johnson, founder and executive director of the Black Fives Foundation, is as much about social as it is sports history. Drawn primarily from the Foundation's collection, the exhibit features artifacts, memorabilia, photographs, ephemera and other materials from the Black Fives Era.

Media contacts: Timothy Wroten, (212) 873-3400 x326, twroten@nyhistory.org and Laura Washington, (212) 874-3400 x263, lwashington@nyhistory.org

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