ESPN’s Black History Month programming begins today and includes more than 150 hours of programming celebrating the achievements of African-Americans who made a positive influence within their sport and in society. The highlights include a new documentary about Reece “Goose” Tatum, an original member of the Harlem Globetrotters:
- Reece “Goose” Tatum played for the legendary Harlem Globetrotters before he created his own basketball team. Goose — a one-hour documentary Sunday, Feb. 26, at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN — chronicles his life through the eyes of his son, Reese Tatum III. The son recalls his father’s all-to-brief life (he died at 45), including cross-country trips riding in the back of a Cadillac traveling to one sold-out arena after the next, each jam-packed to see his father entertain the crowd. The program also includes highlights from when he spoke eloquently about his father at the 2011 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction.
- ESPN’s new “Free to Be” vignettes are a series of intimate stories about life-changing sports moments. The vignettes — aired daily on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic and ESPNU — will feature a variety of individuals and groups telling stories with each other and describing how sports gave them the courage to feel “Free to Be” themselves.
- Back-to-back weekends of “ESPN Films on Classic” devoted to Black History Month on February 10-12 and February 17-19, in addition to SportsCentury programs on Walter Payton, Jackie Robinson, Zina Garrison, Hank Aaron and others throughout the month; archival boxing footage of Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and George Foreman bouts; Content of Character specials and more. Schedule
- Chuck Cooper, the first African-American drafted into the NBA, will be honored during the Richmond-Duquesne men’s college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. Cooper, chosen by the Boston Celtics in 1950, was an All-American at Duquesne. He passed away in 1984, and members of Cooper’s family will be in attendance. The team will wear 1950’s-style, red throwback uniforms for the game.
- Additional content — videos, interviews and feature stories — will also be available on ESPN.com’s Black History Month page.