The Dempsey Hovland‘s who managed the House of David basketball team in the 1930s, also created the New York Harlem Chic’s basketball team the first all female African-American basketball team in the USA, the female version of the Harlem Globetrotters.
The segregated Harlem Chic’s barnstormed North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington state, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wyoming from 1958 to 1960. They played teams like the and some of the teams were the Missouri Redheads, Hazel Walkers Arkansas Travelers, Philadelphia Tribune Girls, the Chicago Romas, Iowa Colored Ghosts, and the Harlem Queens who also played the Harlem Chic’s. In the photograph below the Harlem Chic’s are practicing (backs turned to camera) with Judy Price in front from the Texas Cowgirls (who broke ground and opened for the Harlem Globetrotters in the 1950′S, on their tours) shooting free throws in 1959.
The women barnstormed against off-season NFL teams and men’s basketball teams and provided entertainment as well as skilled players, and the orange, white and lollipop socks were a real opener for the opponents.
The Harlem Chic’s star basketball players at the time was Irma Bradford, Marva Towles.
Have you heard about the Harlem Chic’s?
- Harlem’s SlamJam 2012 Team Photographs (harlemworldmag.com)
- Harlem Clyde Frazier Jr. SlamJam Player Helps USA Win Gold In 2012 Olympics (harlemworldmag.com)
- Harlem’s Clyde Frazier, Jr., SlamJam Brings Out The Stars (harlemworldmag.com)