NBA and Southwest Airlines Bring Civil Rights in Basketball Exhibit to National Liberty Museum in December 2005

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ — The NBA and Southwest Airlines will bring a significant new exhibit called “The Quest for Equality: African Americans as Pioneers in the Sport of Basketball,” to the National Liberty Museum starting in December 2005. The exhibit provides a historic timetable of the pursuit of justice and equality that paved the way for today’s players, coaches and owners. It includes a fascinating collection of period documents, photos, uniform items and more.

“The Quest for Equality” opens December 17, 2005 at the National Liberty Museum, and runs through February 6, 2006. The National Liberty Museum is located at 321 Chestnut Street in historic Philadelphia and is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the special exhibit is free with the Museum’s regular entrance fee of $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for children. “The Quest for Equality” is proudly presented by the National Basketball Association and Southwest Airlines; after its Philadelphia tour stop, the exhibit will continue on to the NBA All-Star Jam Session in Houston, Texas. The tour begins on November 3 in Los Angeles at the California African American Museum.

Although we see the commercials, purchase the sneakers and watch the thrilling moves of the current NBA generation, little is known about the struggles that existed before this popular era. “The Quest for Equality” documents how basketball – which was invented in 1891 – mirrored the segregated practices of its time and how the NBA eventually overcame discrimination.

“The Quest for Equality” traces this history of civil rights in basketball via historic artifacts ranging from early 20th Century uniforms to a 1950 basketball player’s contract with the NBA to a pair of Shaquille O’Neal’s size 22 kicks. It includes eight thematic sections: The Pioneer Years (1891 – 1910), Barnstorming Years (c. 1900 – 1930), The National Basketball League (1942 – 1949), The National Basketball Association (c. 1950 – 1955), Black integration on the white college teams (1907 – 1917), Black college players and coaches (1910 – 1968), The NBA Today and The Hall of Fame.

The National Liberty Museum is dedicated to celebrating democracy and diversity, promoting respect and defusing violence. Located at 321 Chestnut Street in the heart of Philadelphia’s historic district, the Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. The facility is fully wheelchair accessible. For more information on the Museum, call (215) 925-2800 or visit

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) , the nation’s largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers enplaned, currently serves 60 cities in 31 states. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,000 flights a day and has 31,000+ Employees systemwide.

With 30 teams in the United States and Canada, NBA games and related programming are broadcast to 215 countries in 43 languages. The NBA is a recognized leader in sports marketing, currently maintaining its longest-ever list of fully integrated domestic and global marketing partnerships with the most recognizable brands in the world. NBA players are the most recognizable and successful product endorsers in sports, with dozens of players appearing in national and international promotions each season. For more information on the NBA, visit

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