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Black History Month

Today in Black history: It’s time for Negro Leagues baseball, an opera performance, a professional basketball team forms and more

The Undefeated’s Black facts for Feb. 13

1920 — The Negro National League is founded. There was a need for more African American players in baseball, but the Jim Crow laws that ruled much of the South prevented players from playing on white teams. To allow African Americans to freely showcase their talents, Andrew “Rube” Foster, a baseball player and manager, along with other team owners, created eight teams under the Negro National League, which was founded in Kansas City, Missouri.

1893 — Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, known as Sissieretta Jones, performs during a benefit concert for the World’s Fair Colored Opera Company, the first African American to headline a concert at Carnegie Hall. Jones, was a soprano who was often referred to as the “Black Patti,” after famous Italian opera singer Adelina Patti, a stage name she didn’t like. She was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, and moved to Providence, Rhode Island, with her family.

1923 — The first Black pro basketball team, the Renaissance, is founded. The New York Renaissance (aka the Rens) was created by Bob Douglas, an athlete and sports promoter who was known as the “father of Black professional basketball.”

1977 — Happy birthday, Randy Moss. Born in Rand, West Virginia, the TV analyst played 14 seasons in the NFL and holds the record for touchdown receptions in a single season (23 in 2007).

2000 — Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Shaquille O’Neal team up to lead the Western Conference All-Stars to a 137-126 win in the 2000 NBA All-Star Game. This big three may be one of the best frontcourts the league will see representing the West.

Kelley Evans is a digital producer at Andscape. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic Southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.