Atlanta Hawks to Tip Off Black History Month Celebration with Panel at Morehouse College
Club to team with the Black Fives Foundation to highlight Atlanta’s legacy in African-American basketball
ATLANTA –- The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club today announced plans to team with the Black Fives Foundation throughout February to highlight the city’s historical contributions to African-American basketball prior to integration. The club’s Black History Month celebration will commence on Monday, Feb. 5, with an interactive presentation and panel discussion at Morehouse College for 80 students from Atlanta’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The tribute will continue with in-game Black Fives vignettes at each of the Hawks’ five home contests during February.
Current Atlanta players and multimedia sports journalists will unite with students, faculty and staff from Morehouse, Clark Atlanta University and Spelman College on Feb. 5 at “Black Sports History: Building on it. Making it.” The program is set for 6-7:30 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel on the second floor of Morehouse’s African-American Hall of Fame.
Discussion topics will include the history of the Black Fives and the current state of Black athletes, sports journalists and sports industry professionals. Black Fives Foundation Executive Director Claude Johnson will open the evening with historical background on Black basketball in Atlanta before joining a panel featuring Hawks guard Malcolm Delaney and NBA Digital senior analyst Sekou Smith.
The Black Fives Era of basketball spanned 1904-1950 and featured six prominent downtown Atlanta sites: Atlanta Municipal Auditorium & Armory; Butler Street YMCA; Sunset City Casino; and an HBCU trio of Morehouse College, Morris Brown College and Clark University. The Hawks and Johnson filmed short videos at each of these locations to display during February contests at Philips Arena. In a game presented by Bank of America, Atlanta opens its February home schedule on Feb. 6 against the Memphis Grizzlies at 7:30 p.m.