February 14, 2024

Play celebrates groundbreaking ‘55 Crispus Attucks High School basketball team during NBA All-Star weekend

Crispus Attucks High School Principal Lauren Franklin speaks about the legacy of the school on Monday, Feb. 12, 2023. - Sydney Dauphinais/WFYI

Crispus Attucks High School Principal Lauren Franklin speaks about the legacy of the school on Monday, Feb. 12, 2023.

Sydney Dauphinais/WFYI

A play celebrating a pivotal event in Indianapolis Black history this weekend coincides with festivities for the NBA All-Star weekend

“A Touch of Glory” is about the legendary Crispus Attucks High School boys basketball team of 1955. They were the first boys basketball team from Indianapolis to win the state title, and the first all-black team in the country to win an open state tournament.

Oscar Robertson, a key player on the Attucks team, went on to an NBA career.

Terrance Asante-Doyle, production manager for “A Touch of Glory,” said the play is meant for Indianapolis community members and tourists visiting for All-Star weekend.

“We always want for audiences to come away with something, whether it be inspired to research more, or inspired to have ongoing conversations about whatever subject matter that we're dealing with,” Asante-Doyle said.

When Indianapolis Public Schools opened Crispus Attucks in 1927, it removed Black students from the other integrated schools and enrolled them at Attucks. The school remained a single-race school until early 1970, due to residential segregation, despite state and federal desegregation orders.

Asante-Doyle says the production is a way to share important history in a way that is also entertaining.

“I would love for community members to know how special Attucks is as an institution,” Asante-Doyle said. “What has really stood out to me is how special Attucks was from the standpoint of a culture. And there was a culture of excellence, even from administration down to teachers, and it really, really impacted the students in a special way.”

The performance 2 p.m. Saturday will be followed by community conversation from Crispus Attucks alumni. Evening performances are also scheduled Friday to Sunday.

The production was organized by Indianapolis Public Schools, Deborah Asante & Artists, GANGANG, and the National Crispus Attucks Alumni Association. 

The NBA All-Star 2024 events, hosted by the Indiana Pacers, are Friday through Sunday.

How to attend

A free production and community conversation is 2 - 4 p.m. Saturday. Registration is required.

Ticketed showings are scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday, and 8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets can be purchased here.


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