The New York Renaissance basketball team.

The Harlem Hoopsters of the Renaissance

The New York Renaissance, also known as the Harlem Renaissance, was the first Black-owned, all-black, fully-professional basketball team established in 1923.
Jockey Isaac Murphy on the thoroughbred Tenny, circa 1890.

Born Into Slavery, A Kentucky Derby Champ Became An American Superstar

Isaac Murphy was once called ‘The Prince of Jockeys’ during the fleeting era when African Americans reigned on the nation’s racetracks.
Lebron James posing with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Changed the Rules for Black Athletes

How Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's activism set the stage for Lebron James and twenty-first century Black professional athletes.
Bernard King of the New Jersey Nets driving past Elvin Hayes of the Washington Bullets, in March of 1978.

The Racial Politics of the N.B.A. Have Always Been Ugly

A new book argues that the real history of the league is one of strife between Black labor and white ownership.
Chicago Bulls guard Norm Van Lier drives past Milwaukee Bucks center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during Game 2 of the NBA Playoffs at the United Center in Chicago on April 19, 1974.

How Black Basketball Players in the ‘70s Paved the Way for the All Stars Today

The impact of Black ball players' fight for higher compensation and labor protections in the ‘70s is felt today.
Tyler Adams at a press conference.

What We Ask of Black American Athletes

The captain of the U.S. soccer team is the latest in a long line of sports stars who have had to wrestle with a complex legacy on the world stage.
Jackie Robinson addresses civil rights supporters protesting outside the 1964 GOP National Convention.

Jackie Robinson Was a Radical – Don't Listen to the Sanitized Version of History

Before Colin Kaepernick, Jackie Robinson wrote, ‘I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a Black man in a white world.’
Jackie Robinson made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.

‘This Is American History’: The Hall of Fame Reconsiders Race

Dave Winfield and Ken Griffey Jr. will be among the advisers for a permanent exhibit that re-examines the contributions of Jackie Robinson and others.
Members of the Coloured Hockey League pose with hockey sticks and trophies.

The All-Black League That Invented Hockey As We Know It

The Coloured Hockey League doesn’t get a prominent place in most tellings of hockey’s story, but its legacy is undeniable.
Outfielder Darryl Strawberry of the New York Mets in uniform with bat

MLB Could've Stopped Black Talent Drain But Didn't

Baseball’s failure to get out in front of the problem in the 1970s had real and lasting consequences.
The East team of the 1936 East-West All-Star Game

Justice for the Negro Leagues Will Mean More Than Just Stats

Major League Baseball now wants to welcome Negro-leagues statistics into its record books, but the numbers are just a small part of what needs to be remembered.
Hank Aaron.

What Hank Aaron Told Me

When I spoke with my boyhood hero 25 years after his famous home run, I learned why he’d kept going through the death threats and the hate.
Book Cover for Smokin' Joe: The Life of Joe Frazier

A New Biography of 'Smokin' Joe' Frazier, a Champ with the Common Touch

Allen Barra reviews Mark Kram Jr.’s Smokin’ Joe, a biography of Joe Frazier.
Baseball players congratulate each other after a game.

The Black Gap in Baseball

Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, Andre Dawson and Derek Jeter sit down to discuss the Black gap in baseball.

Black College Athletes Are Rising Up Against the Exploitative System They Labor In

Will coronavirus prompt the house of cards of college athletics to come tumbling down?

Althea Gibson, Who Smashed Racial Barriers in Tennis, Honored With Statue at U.S. Open

'It’s about time,' said former doubles partner Angela Buxton.

Richmond Is at a Crossroads. Will Arthur Ashe Boulevard Point the Way?

The city renamed a major thoroughfare after Ashe. It slices across Monument Avenue, known for its statues of Confederate generals.

After Jackie Robinson Bent Baseball's Color Barrier, Two Journeymen Broke It For Good

Real inclusivity is based on equal access to mediocrity.
"Fleet" Walker (middle row, far left) poses with Oberlin College's first varsity baseball team in 1881. Walker went on to become the first African American major leaguer.

The First African American Major League Baseball Player Isn’t Who You Think

As the country celebrates Jackie Robinson Day, let’s consider the career of Fleet Walker.

On Jackie Robinson’s 100th Birthday, 100 Photos of an Icon

Through images and personal essays by longtime New York Times writers, a vivid look at the man who made baseball truly American.