Sports and Black Lives Next Door
The correlation between black lives and sports has been a part of the American story, particularly the Middle Atlantic story, for well over a century; the individuals who created these spaces sought community availability and individual growth for young African Americans. These became meccas of the black experience in Northern Virginia in places like Loundon, Fairfax, and Alexandria; the skill utilized to perfect crafts and serve on teams would be tested and perfected to form groups and conferences to have the same experiences that white athletics teams did.
In these trade school spaces, students were expected to participate in sports as a means to build upon personal growth; before they saw conferences from these contests would primarily be intermural in nature and acted as a form of professional development to create the esprit de corp that was expected from young Blacks entering the workforce, figures like Nannie Burroughs implemented basketball for young female students as a way to get exercise as well on her school grounds.
Many of these historic teams would go on to have echoes of the lineage that spanned to places like Richmond and Chicago. Mainly, the Black swim teams of the era performed exceptionally well and would see their efforts pay dividends in the form of college offers; However, their recommendations would not match their white counterparts in those situations. Due to the efforts of the communities around these athletes they were enabled to build sports programs that effectively provided them with outlets and development for skills that often follow from proficiency in sport.