The Historical Society of Washington D.C. presents “Visionaries of Early Black Education and Basketball: Julius Rosenwald and Dr. Edwin B. Henderson,” a special Black History Month event that will take place at the historic Carnegie Library (801 K Street NW) on Thursday, February 20th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. A full flier (PDF format) is available here.
The evening promises a fascinating glimpse of the origins of basketball in the District. After Julius Rosenwald collaborated with Washington’s African American community to build a YMCA, Dr. Edwin B. Henderson (an influential physical educator) organized the new Y’s first basketball team. Henderson, who earned the moniker “the grandfather of black basketball,” is just one of the basketball greats connected with the YMCA: as we learned in an interview with Norris Dodson a year ago, John Thompson, Elgin Baylor and Dave Bing also graced its walls.
The 12th Street YMCA, Washington, D.C.
Photo credit: Michael Rose, March, 2012
We wrote about how Rosenwald came to support D.C.’s storied 12th Street YMCA in a previous blog post, and we have since shot interviews in the historic structure with local preservationists Lori Dodson and Norris Dodson. The modern building, built for the black residents of Washington, was the first of 24 YMCAs that Rosenwald supported with challenge grants between 1911 and 1933.
Featured films clips include:
- The Rosenwald Schools, a work in progress produced by Aviva Kempner
- Basketball, More than a Game: the Story of Dr. Edwin B. Henderson, a short film produced by Beverly Lindsey-Johnson
- Supreme Courts: How Washington DC Basketball Changed The World, trailer produced by Pennington Greene, John Ershek and Bijan C. Bayne
Panelists will include:
- Bob Kuska, author, Hot Potato: How Washington and New York Gave Birth to Basketball and Changed America’s Game Forever
- Aviva Kempner, filmmaker, The Rosenwald Schools
- Stephanie Deutsch, author, You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South
- Edwin B. Henderson II, grandson of Dr. E.B. Henderson, Tinner Hill Heritage Association
Moderated by: Bijan Bayne, author, Elgin Baylor: The First Superstar