The Emergence and Legacy of African American Basketball Conference

November 12 – 13

FREE and open to the public
Presented by: Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, DC Basketball Inc., Howard University Department of Health, Human Performance & Leisure Studies, the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and YMCA of the USA

Locations: (Day 1) Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History
Carmichael Auditorium, 1400 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC
(Day 2) Howard University Burr Gymnasium
2400 Sixth St. NW, Washington, DC

Dr. Edwin B. Henderson, known widely as the “Grandfather of Black Basketball,” a gifted basketball player, coach and promoter, organized a basketball team for the 12th Street Y that went on to dominate black basketball and become the first varsity team at Howard University in Washington. Nowhere has the emergence and birth of African Americans in basketball been more influential to the nation than in Metro Washington. It’s organizers, players, coaches and owners have had more influence on the high school, college and professional basketball game than any other basketball hotbed.

The conference will bring together historians, academics, fans and the public to share the evolution and accomplishments of early black basketball in American culture and life. The conference will be the first to examine early Black basketball history. More than 35 years ago, similar conferences and meetings on the Negro Baseball leagues led to broad public awareness, extensive scholarly research, and Hall of Fame recognition for Negro League and Afro-Latin baseball history. Likewise, it is the hope that this conference will serve to enlighten and expand a dialogue on a deserving, but widely unknown topic.

For more information, visit

Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards Dinner

Monday, November 15 at 6:30 PM

Eatonville Restaurant, 2121 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC

The Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award dinner to honor excellence for published works of poetry, non-fiction, and fiction by African American authors will be hosted this year by Terry McMillan author of Waiting to Exhale and the sequel (published this year), Getting to Happy.

Hurston/Wright Foundation is celebrating their 20th Anniversary. The foundation was founded by author Marita Golden and bibliofile Clyde McElvene and named for writers Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God) and Richard Wright (Native Son et al)

Personally, I was very impressed by the nominees for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Makes quite a reading list.


Bernardine Evaristo, Blonde Roots (Riverhead)
Percival Everett, I Am Not Sidney Poitier (Graywolf Press)
Chielo Zona Eze, The Trial of Robert Mugabe (Okri Books Inc.)
Victor LaValle, Big Machine (Spiegel & Grau)
Attica Locke, Black Water Rising (HarperCollins Publishers)
Colson Whitehead, Sag Harbor (Doubleday)


Samiya Bashir, Gospel (Redbone Press)
Mitchell L. H. Douglas, Cooling Board: A Long Playing Poem (Red Hen Press)
Rita Dove, Sonata Mulattica (W.W. Norton & Company)
Haki R. Madhubuti, Liberation Narratives (Third World Press)


Betty DeRamus, Freedom by Any Means (Atria)
Wil Haywood, Sweet Thunder (Knopf)
Gwen Ifill, The Breakthrough (Doubleday)
Robin Kelley, Thelonious Monk (Free Press)
James A. Miller, Remembering Scottsboro (Princeton University Press)
William Julius Wilson, More than Just Race (W.W. Norton & Company)

For more information about the Hurston/Wright Foundation and its programs, visit or call 301/459-2108.