Black History
A Leader in the Integration of Professional Sports, Boston Celtics to Celebrate Black History Month
Amtrak to serve as presenting sponsor of month-long Black History program that features Promote the Quote event with Boston area middle-school students

BOSTON (January 28, 2004) - Amtrak and the Boston Celtics today unveiled a multi-faceted platform to celebrate Black History Month.

One focus of the celebration will be the second annual Promote the Quote event on Feb. 5 at the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club. Four Celtics players and Black Entertainment Television personality Marie "Free" Wright will join Boston students to interpret various quotations from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Students use mediums such as song, short plays or skits to demonstrate the meaning of each quote.

In addition to Promote the Quote, the Celtics and Amtrak are airing vignettes highlighting the significance of Black History Month. The spots, which will run at the FleetCenter and on-air during telecasts, feature Celtics legends Bill Russell and JoJo White, Celtics captain Paul Pierce and Celtics Marcus Banks, Mark Blount, Walter McCarty and Mike James discussing the importance of the month-long initiative. will also feature a history page of facts and features that highlight important milestones that will be updated throughout the month.

"We are proud to collaborate with Amtrak on this important initiative, which celebrates the many achievements and contributions of African-Americans throughout history. The Celtics have long been a pioneer in professional sports, and are proud to celebrate our rich history," said John Brody, Executive Vice President of Marketing for the Celtics.

"We are always proud of our celebrations of cultural diversity," said Gerri Mason Hall, Amtrak Vice President of Diversity. "The opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to young people makes this partnership especially gratifying."

The Celtics have been leaders in the integration of professional sports. Among other "firsts," the Celtics were the first NBA team to draft an African-American player (Chuck Cooper, 1950) and the first team in professional sports to hire an African-American head coach (Russell, 1967).

Amtrak serves more than 500 communities in 46 states across a 22,000-mile route system. For further information, including fares and downloadable timetables, passengers are encouraged to visit Amtrak is an official sponsor of the Boston Celtics.