Harlem Globetrotters faced racial tension, brought basketball thrills

ATLANTA — The Harlem Globetrotters was a bit of an overstatement in its earliest days. The team didn’t cover the world. Its Black players traveled to tiny, predominantly white towns in Iowa, the Dakotas and elsewhere in the Midwest. And the Globetrotters, now based in Peachtree Corners, Ga., weren’t from Harlem. But issues of race were often tangled up in its more than 90-year basketball history, for good and ill. Before countless half-court shots, basketballs spinning on fingers, shenanigans involving buckets of confetti, referees enduring gags that involved their pants being yanked down, eve…

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