BLACK FIVES: The Alpha Physical Culture Club's Pioneering African American Basketball Team, 1904-1923

BLACK FIVES: The Alpha Physical Culture Club's Pioneering African American Basketball Team, 1904-1923

by Claude Johnson
     
 

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,… See more details below

Overview

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. But the times were changing. The Alphas' 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 Claude Johnson, founder and C.E.O. of Black Fives, Inc. and BlackFives.com.

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.

Also includes a Reader Discussion Guide at the end of the book.

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Editorial Reviews

Dave Zirin
“Claude Johnson’s work holds the power of revelation.”
— Author of “The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed The World” and “A People’s History of Sports in the United States," Politics of Sports Columnist for Nation Magazine
David Aldridge
“The great Claude Johnson has spent the past several years chronicling the lost contributions of African-Americans to professional basketball before the NBA …”
— Reporter for TNT, NBA-TV, and NBA.com
Howie Evans
“Claude Johnson has gone to the front of the class as the eminent historian of the Black Fives Era."
— Senior Sports Editor, New York Amsterdam News
Keith Houlemard
“Claude Johnson brings to this book not only the foremost knowledge of the Black Fives Era, but also a genuine passion and a clear understanding ... in these previously untold stories.”
— President of the Jordan Brand at Nike, Inc.
Ron Thomas
“Execute a swift give-and-go. 'Give' the Black Fives Era some respect, and 'go' buy this book.”
— Author of “They Cleared the Lane: The NBA’s Black Pioneers,” Director of the Journalism and Sports Program at Morehouse College

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013933354
Publisher:
Black Fives Publishing
Publication date:
02/29/2012
Series:
Black Fives , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
121
File size:
17 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

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