Museum Closure

The New-York Historical Society will close at 3pm on November 26 and remain closed through November 27. For details, please visit our calendar.

The Black Fives

Mar 14 2014 - Jul 20 2014

This exhibition covers the pioneering history of the African-American basketball teams that existed in New York City and elsewhere from the early 1900s through 1950, the year the National Basketball Association became racially integrated. Just after the game of basketball was invented in 1891, teams were often called “fives” in reference to their five starting players. Teams made up entirely of African-American players were referred to as “colored fives,” “Negro fives,” or black fives—the period became known as the Black Fives Era. 

Charles “Tarzan” Cooper (1907-1980) was a star center with the Philadelphia Panthers, New York Rens, Grumman Hellcats, and Washington Bears, winning two World Pro Basketball Tournament championships – with the Rens (1939) and the Bears (1943). The Rens won 1,303 out of 1,505 games with Cooper, who is considered one of the greatest centers of his time and was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977. Photograph courtesy the Black Fives Foundation.

Dozens of all-black teams emerged during the Black Fives Era, in New York City, Washington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlantic City, Cleveland, and other cities where a substantial African-American population lived. The Black Fives Era came to an end in the late 1940s with the growth in stature of black college basketball programs combined with the gradual racial integration of previously whites-only collegiate basketball conferences and professional basketball leagues.

Reading Into History Book Wrap Event: The Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz

Wed, July 24th, 2013 | 3:30 pm

Wednesday, July 24, 3:30 pm
Free with Museum admission. Ages 9-12. 

Come discuss the historical fiction novel The Brooklyn Nine with baseball historian Erik Miklich from www.19cbaseball.com. After we talk about the book, we’ll toss the ball around like they did 100 years ago—no gloves allowed!

Macy's Sunday Story Time: Play Ball!

Sun, April 28th, 2013 | 11:30 am

Recommended for children ages 4–7.

Now that baseball season is in full swing, learn about one of the most moving moments in baseball history: when “Pee Wee” Reese supported his new teammate Jackie Robinson, the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era.

Teammates by Peter Golenbock
Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson: Against the Odds by Robert Burleigh

Support for the Macy's Sunday Story Hour provided by the Macy's Foundation.
 

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