Black Magic Documentary

I had the opportunity to see a screening last night of the "Black Magic" documentary and it was truly amazing. Being an alumni of an HBCU made it all the more special for me to get apart of the history of the soil where I spent 4 years of my life.

If you haven't heard about it, its a 4 hour documentary that ESPN will be airing March 16th and 17th in 2 parts. The documentary tackles the injustices during the civil rights movement while using an angled that I don't feel has ever been presented before, from the mouth of the basketball player.

Street ball legends that shaped the way kids play basketball today, coaches that took chances and played African Americans knowing they might lost their jobs, the late night secret matches that HBCU's held against all-white schools in order to prove that they were better than them, but secret because at that time it was forbidden that the teams play each other. It was an absolute privilege to have been able to see the film last night. We actually saw a shorter version, not the entire 4 hours so I will still be tuning in, in March.

The most rewarding part about the screening was that the man they called Black Magic (pictured here) was in attendance. Earl "The Pearl" Monroe as well as Cleo Hill both sat on a panel following the screening with the Producer of the documentary, Dan Klores, along with ESPN's Jemelle Hill, and NBA player Jalen Rose. One thing they discussed was an incident that happened in Orangeburg where some students were gunned down by police. One of the students was a basketball player. It showed just how corrupted the justice system was in relation to African Americans, and because of the documentary, the case if being re-opened and investigated. Maybe justice will finally be served in that case, even if it is some 40-50 years later.

One point that stuck out with me about the panel discussion was there comparison to the HBCU school now, and how it was when they were playing. They talked about how they feel its a bad idea for all the HBCU's to try to move up into Division I schools when they don't have the recruiting dollars or the school records and successes to get top high school players to attend their school over say a Duke, Georgetown, etc. That HBCU basketball has always been and will forever be about the fellowship. It took me back to my days at North Carolina A&T State University, where no matter how bad our team was, we still went to every game and showed our AGGIE PRIDE.

I'm getting off tangent but seeing the old clips they showed of the Greensboro 4 sit-in just made me so proud to have decided to go to an HBCU, and gave me a different aspect on the history of those schools. This is definitely a film that you are not going to want to miss. I suggest you all check it out when it airs.


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