Pacers Celebrate Black History Month

February 2018

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The Indiana Pacers are proud to celebrate Black History Month. For the month of February, each day we will be posting a video of a Pacers player telling a story about "This Day in Black History."

To learn more about a particular day in Black History, click on the corresponding date in the calendar above.

In addition, the Indiana Pacers and Honda Manufacturing of Indiana have teamed up for the Dream BIG initiative, a multifaceted program to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Black History Month.


February 28, 1932 - Richard Spikes

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Richard Spikes, an African-American inventor, invented and patented the automatic gear shift. Pacers forward Thaddeus Young shares his story:


February 27, 1872 - Charlotte Ray

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Charlotte E. Ray graduated from Howard University School of Law and is credited as the first female African-American lawyer in the United States. Pacers forward Glenn Robinson III tells her story:


February 26, 1869 - The 15th Amendment

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The Senate passed the 15th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, granting African-American men the right to vote. Pacers guard Victor Oladipo shares the story:


February 25, 1870 - Hiram Revels

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Hiram Rhodes Revels broke a color barrier in U.S. government when he became the first African-American to serve in the Senate. Pacers forward TJ Leaf tells his story:


February 24, 2009 - Duke Ellington

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The United States Mint honored Washington, D.C. native Duke Ellington with a commemorative coin, making him the first African-American to be featured on a U.S. coin. Pacers guard Cory Joseph shares his story:


February 23, 1929 - Elston Howard

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Baseball catcher Elston Howard was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Howard would go on to become the first African-American to play for the Yankees and the first to win American League MVP. Pacers center Myles Turner tells his story:


February 22, 1989 - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

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DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince won the first rap Grammy for their hit single "Parents Just Don't Understand." Pacers center Ike Anigbogu shares their story:


February 21, 1936 - Barbara Jordan

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Barbara Jordan was born in Houston, Texas. Jordan would become the first African-American elected to the Texas Senate and was later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Pacers forward Thaddeus Young tells her story:


February 20, 1992 - John Singleton

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John Singleton made history as the first African-American to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Director for his film "Boyz n the Hood."


February 19, 1942 - Tuskegee Airmen

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The Tuskegee Airmen were initiated into the armed forces as the first African-American pilots to fight in World War II. Pacers guard Victor Oladipo tells their story:


February 18, 1867 - Morehouse College

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Morehouse College was founded. The school's mission was to educate young black men to teach and go into ministry. Pacers forward TJ Leaf shares the story:


February 17, 1973 - USS Jesse L. Brown

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The Navy frigate USS Jesse L. Brown was commissioned, named for the first African-American naval aviator killed in combat over Korea. Pacers guard Cory Joseph tells the story:


February 16, 1968 - Shirley Chisholm

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Shirley Chisholm became the first African-American woman to earn election to congress. Pacers center Myles Turner shares her story:


February 15, 1968 - Henry Lewis

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Henry Lewis became the first African-American to lead a major American orchestra when he was named Director of the New Jersey Symphony. Pacers center Ike Anigbogu tells his story:


February 14, 1957 - SCLC

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The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was established at a meeting in New Orleans. Pacers forward Thaddeus Young shares the story:


February 13, 1923 - The New York Rens

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The first all-black professional basketball team, the New York Renaissance, was organized. Pacers forward Glenn Robinson III tells their story:


February 12, 2009 - NAACP

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People marked its 100th anniversary. Pacers guard Victor Oladipo shares its story:


February 11, 1990 - Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela was released from a South African prison after 27 years. Pacers forward TJ Leaf tells his story:


February 10, 1995 - Andrew Brimmer

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Andrew Brimmer became the first African-American Governor of the Federal Reserve Board when he was appointed to an eight-year term by President Lyndon Johnson. Pacers guard Cory Joseph shares his story:


February 9, 1995 - Bernard Harris, Jr.

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Astronaut Bernard Harris, Jr. became the first African-American to take a space walk. Pacers center Myles Turner tells his story:


February 8, 1986 - Debi Thomas

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Figure skater Debi Thomas became the first African-American to win the women's singles at the U.S. National Figure Skating Championship. Pacers center Ike Anigbogu shares her story:


February 7, 1926 - Black History Month

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Carter G. Woodson, a noted African-American historian, scholar, educator, and professor created Negro History Week, which later became Black History Month. Pacers forward Thaddeus Young tells the story:


February 6, 1820 - The Mayflower of Liberia

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A group of 88 free black men and women set sail from New York to the British colony of Sierra Leone aboard a ship called "The Mayflower of Liberia," the first organized immigration of blacks to Africa. Pacers forward Glenn Robinson III shares the story:


February 5, 1958 - Clifton Wharton

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Clifton Wharton is confirmed as Minister to Romania, the first African-American to head a United States embassy in Europe. Pacers guard Victor Oladipo tells his story:


February 4, 1986 - Sojourner Truth

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The United States Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp honoring abolitionist and women's rights activist Sojourner Truth as part of its Black Heritage series. Pacers forward TJ Leaf shares her story:


February 3, 1908 - Jack Johnson

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Jack Johnson became the first African-American heavyweight champion, a title he held until 1915. Pacers guard Cory Joseph tells his story:


February 2, 1989 - Bill White

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Former MLB player and Yankees broadcaster Bill White was elected to serve as President of the National League, becoming the first African-American to do so. Pacers center Myles Turner shares his story:


February 1, 1978 - Harriet Tubman

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The first stamp of the United States Postal Service's Black Heritage series, honoring abolitionist Harriet Tubman, was released. Pacers center Ike Anigbogu tells the story: