1920: When Jim Crow laws banned African Americans from playing in white basketball leagues, a group of locals united by the love of the game and community formed the first basketball team in Harlem.
Harlem’s basketball players trained in ballrooms, developing a style of play that reflected their ability and creativity. Built on a mastery of pace and grace, their contests set the tone for the vibrant jazz concerts that followed, where Harlemites were encouraged to bring their dance floor A-game, spawning America’s first true dance: The Lindy Hop
The Harlemites proved they had one of the greatest teams in the world. To take a stance, players removed the word “colored” from their championship jackets, making the statement legend.
Harlem was not only the true epicenter of basketball, it was a cultural example of the power and influence of community.