Blazers celebrate Black History Month

Press release:

Team partners with Black Parent Initiative, Urban League of Portland and Portland Jazz Festival to celebrate past, present and future
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Trail Blazers will spend the month of February celebrating Black History Month in partnership with local non-profits. As part of the month-long celebration, the Trail Blazers will honor extraordinary African-American fathers, including our own Maurice Lucas, at games throughout the month. Additionally, the organization will join the Urban League of Portland in hosting a musical tribute to “Jumptown” and will partner with the Portland Jazz Festival to celebrate the “Incredible Journey of Jazz” with local students.
Black History Month is a time for Americans to bear witness to the progress, richness and diversity of African-American achievement. Its origins trace back to 1926, when Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the second black to ever receive a Ph.D from Harvard University, inaugurated Negro History Week. The program evolved into Black History Month in 1976. 
February 1 – 21: Honoring Extraordinary Fathers
At each home game throughout the month, the Trail Blazers and Black Parent Initiative (BPI) will call attention to the extraordinary contributions of seven African-American fathers in the Portland area. Each honoree will be highlighted in a big screen presentation and receive a $500 grant to benefit the charity of their choice.  The celebration tips off February 1 and continues throughout the month. Trail Blazers assistant coach Maurice Lucas, one of the seven honorees, will be recognized on February 4.
February 5: Jumptown Tribute
The Portland Trail Blazers will join the Urban League of Portland in paying homage to the music and history of “Jumptown” on February 5 at the League’s Northeast Multi-Cultural Senior Center, celebrating the cultural heritage of a vibrant eastside neighborhood that spawned a jazz renaissance after World War II.  This special evening will feature the timeless live music of Sweet Baby James and an all-star band.
February 22-26: Incredible Journey of Jazz
The Trail Blazers will make several visits to local schools in partnership with the Portland Jazz Festival’s “Incredible Journey of Jazz”, a music/theatre performance created for middle school aged audiences that traces the history of jazz through the history of Black America. Trail Blazers players and alumni will join local musicians February 22 – 26 as they bring their performances to Beverly Cleary School,  George Middle School, Harriet Tubman Leadership Academy, Alice Ott Middle School, and Ron Russell Middle School.

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