The Harlem Rens: The greatest team you’ve never heard of
Posted December 29, 2015on:
A fun part of exploring primary sources is discovering unique artifacts that are not what we typically expect. One example is an interview with James Naismith, the inventor of basketball that was recently discovered by a Kansas University Professor.
The interview inspired me to renew my search for Library of Congress resources about the Harlem Rens. I learned about the Rens while watching On the Shoulders of Giants: An Audio Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance, a movie based on Kareen Abduhl Jabbar’s audio book. The film is about so much more than basketball! Primary sources support the fascinating narrative of segregation, civil rights and of course the Rens. Jabbar was at the showing. It was incredibly inspiring.
LOC has a few items related to the Rens.
Genial Robert Douglas, who operates the Renaissance Casino, with his cat Rennie (Photograph showing Douglas, owner of the Renaissance Casino in Harlem and founder of the Renaissance Five basketball team, holding his cat.)
S.Con.Res.57 – A concurrent resolution recognizing the contributions of African-American basketball teams and players for their achievements, dedication, and contributions to the sport of basketball and the Nation.
I could almost hear everyone’s head spinning with curriculum ideas!
What are your ideas for incorporating sports and sports history into the curriculum?
Today in History & New York mayoral proclamation (2013)
The Harlem Rens (Black Fives Foundation)
LOC: Primary Source Sets , eBook Student Discovery Sets and teaching ideas
Jim Crow and Segregation
On the Shoulders of Giants: The Story of the Greatest Team You Never Heard Of, 2011 historical sports documentary film directed by Deborah Morales, written by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse.
Learn more about using Primary Sources in your classroom