Miami Heat Celebrate Black History Month


Sunday, February 1 marked the start of Black History month, and with that began the twelfth season of the Miami Heat’s comprehensive campaign honoring the cause.

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Sponsored by Pepsi, the Heat will present a collection of vignettes that focus on the achievements of different African-Americans; these will include those who have notably contributed in science, sports, the arts, literature, music, education, the military, and the general community.

In terms of sports figures, the likes of Serena and Venus Williams, Frank Robinson and the Harlem Globetrotters will be showcased. Miami’s own Danny Granger will even pay tribute to his distant relative, Mahalia Jackson, a gospel singer. President Pat Riley too will participate, recognizing Branch Rickey, the former general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers for helping pave the way for black athletes by signing Jackie Robinson.

These vignettes will feature Heat executives, coaches and players telling stories of specific events and the people who took part in them, and will be aired on FOX’s Sun Sports during pre-game and post-game segments over the course of the month. They will also be shared via the organization directly, online, in the arena, and in their magazine, TIPOFF. Additionally, the videos will be available to schools in the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Aside from the videos, the team will put together a piece from key passages of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

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On February 24, the Sixth Annual Black History Month Challenge (presented by Pepsi) will be hosted at the AmericanAirlines Arena; students from North Miami Senior High School and Ft. Lauderdale High School will play against one another in answering questions regarding Black History trivia. The winner’s school will be given a $4,000 educational grant and the runner-up will receive a $500 one. Miami Vice President of Player Programs, Alonzo Mourning, and the Director of College and Pro Scouting (Keith Askins) will join the team’s television and courtside reporter, Jason Jackson.

For a full list of who will be honored and by whom, visit

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