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The Cleveland Cavaliers 13th annual Black Heritage Celebration (BHC) presented by Hennessy tips off on Wednesday, February 1st at the Cavs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves game at Quicken Loans Arena at 7:00 p.m. The BHC, a salute to Black History Month in February, recognizes the extraordinary past achievements of African Americans throughout history and celebrates those making a difference in the Cleveland community today.
The special night will begin a month-long celebration themed “Empowering and Inspiring One Generation to the Next.” Each theme night will honor African American visionaries and pioneers who inspired the youth of today. Featured will be the stories of NASA’s Annie Easley and Dr. Guy Bluford; Cuyahoga Community College’s year-long educational program about the achievements of Carl and Louis Stokes; and the great Muhammad Ali. The BHC will also provide young professionals with an ultimate learning experience through the Marcus Graham Project marketing workshop.
“The Cavaliers continue the tradition of the Black Heritage Celebration with a program built to honor African American visionaries of the past, spark conversation about the future and recognize those determined to make an impact today for the betterment of coming generations,” said Campy Russell, Cavaliers Legend and BHC committee leader.
Throughout the Black Heritage Celebration, the Cavs will showcase inspiring moments in African American history through interviews with Cavs players and legends, and special halftime tributes and performances. There will also be several community outreach initiatives throughout Black History Month (February) as Cavs front office team members volunteer their time and service to projects in Northeast Ohio.
Signature Black Heritage Celebration theme nights at Cavs game in February include:
February 1st vs Minnesota Timberwolves at 7:00 p.m.
The Cavs have teamed up with NASA to recognize African American trailblazers in the field of math and science with a special halftime tribute showcasing brilliance across generations in Cleveland. The team will tell the stories of the late Annie Easley, a NASA Hidden Figure* who worked at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, as well as Dr. Guy Bluford, the first African American in space and Northeast Ohio resident. From Easley to Bluford and onward to the next generation of NASA thinkers and explorers, the halftime will celebrate diversity, excellence and ambition throughout history.
*The recent film, titled Hidden Figures, tells the story of some of NASA’s African-American female mathematicians who overcame social obstacles to help Ohioan John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth in his Friendship 7 spacecraft 55 years ago this month.
February 23rd vs New York Knicks at 8:00 p.m.
After celebrating the achievements of Mayor Carl Stokes and Congressman Louis Stokes last season, the Cavs will again empower fans to carry the Stokes vision forward by recognizing inspiring young leaders in the community during a special halftime ceremony. The night is part of the Tri-C “Stokes: Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future” yearlong, community-wide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Carl Stokes’ election as first black mayor of Cleveland and of any major U.S. city. Mayor Stokes and his brother, Congressman Louis Stokes, played key roles in the advancement of the city and the nation through the civil rights movement and beyond. For more information, visit stokes50cle.com.
February 25th vs Chicago Bulls at 8:30 p.m.
The Cavs will honor the legacy of Muhammad Ali - one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century - during a memorable halftime presentation. As part of the halftime, the team will pay homage to the 50th anniversary of a notable meeting in Cleveland, known as the “Ali Summit,” where Jim Brown brought together the top black athletes and leaders in the country (including Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Carl Stokes) in support of Ali’s personal decision to opt out of the Vietnam War draft.
February 27th vs Milwaukee Bucks at 7:00 p.m.
To conclude the month-long program, the Cavs will offer a culmination of the Black Heritage Celebration that will focus on how our community can continue to progress. The halftime will showcase Marcus Graham Project students participating in the Cavs 3rd Annual Sports Marketing Workshop (learn more below).
Cavs BHC Celebration Extends to the Classroom
In addition to the celebration on the court, the Cavs, in partnership with Hennessy, have again teamed up with the Marcus Graham Project (MGP) to host the 3rd Annual Sports Marketing Workshop. The workshop will take place February 24th through February 27th at Quicken Loans Arena. Workshop participants will receive first-hand knowledge from a panel of distinguished guests. One standout participant from the workshop will earn the opportunity to be sponsored by the Cavs and Hennessy to attend MGP's iCR8 Summer Boot Camp in Dallas, Texas.
The Marcus Graham Project is a network of diverse professionals formed with the purpose of developing the next generation of leadership by mentoring and training ethnically diverse men and women in all aspects of the advertising, media and marketing industry.
To learn more about the Cavaliers 13th annual Black Heritage Celebration workshop, visit www.cavs.com/bhc.
Tickets are always available at Cavs.com/Tickets, all season long to catch the action! Fans can keep up with the #CavsBHC by visiting Cavs.com/BHC and following the team on Twitter (@cavs), Instagram (@cavs), Facebook (Facebook.com/Cavs) and Snapchat (cavs).