Black History
Boston Celtics Players and Black Entertainment TV personality Free Help Students Interpret Inspirational Words of Martin Luther King Jr.
Second annual Promote the Quote event is centerpiece of Amtrak's month-long Celebrating Black History program

Promote The Quote BOSTON (February 5, 2004) - Boston Celtics players Walter McCarty, Mike James, Brandon Hunter and Kendrick Perkins joined Black Entertainment Television personality Free today to help Boston middle-school students interpret the inspirational words of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. during an interactive program at the Charlestown Boys & Girls Club.

The students gathered in groups with the players and Free, and then staged performances to bring alive King's words during the second annual Promote the Quote event. Participants will be honored at halftime of Friday's Celtics game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Promote the Quote is the centerpiece of Amtrak's month-long Celebrating Black History program during February, which is Black History Month.

"We are proud to partner with Amtrak on the Promote the Quote program," said John Brody, the Celtics' executive vice president of marketing. "The Celtics were leaders in the fight to integrate professional sports in this country, and feel an obligation to help inform young and old alike about the important role black Americans have played in this country's history."

"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 pioneers in the integration of professional sports. In 1966, Bill Russell succeeded Red Auerbach as coach of the Celtics, becoming the first black head coach in U.S. pro sports history. In 1950, the Celtics became the first NBA team to draft a black player when they selected Chuck Cooper in the second round of the 1950 draft.

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