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Praise for Claude Johnson



“Claude Johnson has gone to the front of the class as the eminent historian of the Black Fives Era. Since his very first posting on BlackFives.com in 2003, Johnson has continued to educate and confirm for all of us that indeed, the Black Fives Era was the foundation and jumping off point for the sport of basketball as it is today. We are reminded by his meticulous research that this era spawned not just players, but also those who coached as well as those who were entertained.”

Howie Evans, Senior Sports Editor, New York Amsterdam News


“With passion, Claude Johnson takes basketball fans outside of our NBA obsession and introduces us to black basketball treasures that no one else has discovered or sufficiently valued. If you want to become knowledgeable about America’s basketball ‘family tree’, as Claude calls it, then execute a swift give-and-go. ‘Give’ the Black Fives Era some respect, and ‘go’ buy this book.”

Ron Thomas, Author of “They Cleared the Lane: The NBA’s Black Pioneers,” Director of the Journalism and Sports Program at Morehouse College


“Nobody knows more, or has done more, to retrieve the long forgotten history of African-Americans in basketball in the decades before the racial integration of the NBA than Claude Johnson. His historical investigation of this quintessentially American story is a joyous celebration of the role of basketball in the black community, as well as a penetrating probe of its meaning as a force in the making of black America and twentieth century race relations. Anybody who cares about sport or this society would be well served by spending time with these stories.”

Rob Ruck, Author of “Sandlot Seasons: Sport in Black Pittsburgh” and “Raceball: How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game,” Historian, Senior Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh

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