February is Black History Month, and the NBA is taking notice. This month it’s released a series of videos on its website to commemorate Black resilience: from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Jackie Robinson playing basketball in college. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Jackie Robinson had many talents that included hooping, too. Some even believe Jackie was actually better on the courts than on the field.
So to continue its celebration of Black cultural excellence and resilience, the NBA will host a virtual teach-in starting this Friday, February 12, at 12-noon ET on its Twitter page. It will be the first of two virtual conversations focusing on underappreciated lessons of Black history, NBA history, historical revisionism, and the importance of reckoning with our past.
Activist and author of ‘We Matter’ former NBA player Etan Thomas will curate the teach-in, including some of today’s movers and shakers in the activism community. Panelists will include Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, New York Times bestselling author, and U.S. Cultural Ambassador Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sports Curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture Dr. Damion Thomas and Founder of the Terence Crutcher Foundation, Dr. Tiffany Crutcher.
The group will reflect on under-taught and ignored parts of Black History, including the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and our criminal justice system’s historical roots.
The conversation will be centered on how the NBA played a crucial role in pushing for Civil Rights during the ’60s. Furthermore, the dialogue will highlight how current NBA and WNBA players and their coaches carry on that same legacy today by speaking on issues of racialized-violence and on the urgent need to reform our criminal justice system and combating voter suppression.
Following its stream on Twitter, the virtual teach-in will also air on NBA TV at 7:30 pm ET on Thursday, February 18, 2021, and will re-air on Sunday, February 21, 2021, at 1:30 pm ET.
Please visit NBA.com/BHM for additional information on team and league Black History Month celebrations throughout February and beyond. #BHM