Edwin Henderson is considered the "Grandfather of Black Basketball. " He was a black gym teacher who is credited with being the first to introduce the game of basketball to African Americans in a wide scale organized way, in the winter of 1904 in Washington, D. C. , through physical education classes in the district's racially segregated public school system. It was 13 years after basketball was invented. Henderson had learned the sport while taking summer classes in physical training at Harvard University. He envisioned basketball not as an end in itself but as a public-health and civil-rights tool. Henderson believed that, by organizing black athletics, including basketball, it would be possible to send more outstanding black student athletes to excel at northern white colleges and debunk negative stereotypes of the race. He reasoned that in sports, unlike politics and business, the black race would get a fair chance to succeed.
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