Holcombe Rucker, activist, basketball tournament founder

Holcombe Rucker (March 2, 1926 – March 20, 1965) was a playground director in Harlem for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation from 1948 to 1964. He founded the New York City pro-am basketball tournament, that still bears his name and is the namesake of a world-famous basketball court in Harlem. Rucker grew up in Manhattan and  started the tournament in 1950 at a playground on 7th Avenue between 128th and 129th streets. He insisted that education be a fundamental part of the Rucker League, in keeping with its motto — “Each one, teach one.” Through his… Read More

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Elmo Hope, pianist, jazz pioneer

Elmo Hope was born on June 27, 1923, in New York City. His parents were immigrants from the Caribbean and had several children. Elmo began playing the piano aged seven. He had classical music lessons as a child, and won solo piano recital contests from 1938. Fellow pianist Bud Powell was a childhood friend; together, they played and listened to jazz and classical music. Hope attended Benjamin Franklin High School, which was known for its music program. He developed an excellent understanding of harmony, and composed jazz and classical pieces at school. At the age of 17, Hope was shot… Read More

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Hip Hop Hall of Fame coming to Harlem

New York City is credited with being the birthplace of Hip Hop music. Therefore, it’s only fitting that the Hip Hop Hall of Fame and Museum will be located right here in the Big Apple. The nonprofit group behind the project announced this week that it will build the museum on 125th Street in Harlem. The goal is to open phase one of the future museum by February 2018. The goal of the museum is to preserve, archive and showcase hip-hop music and culture over the 40 years since the art form began. It will include a gallery, ground floor cafe… Read More

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