January 14, 2011 BY John Kim
A tradition that began in 1976 and a history dating back centuries upon centuries, Black History Month falls in February of each calendar year – a month long remembrance and celebration of the rich and powerful history of African-Americans. How one celebrates this momentous event differs by individual, and Nike expresses itself in the only way it truly can – by projecting the honor and spirit in its most beloved sneakers past and present. For 2011, the Nike Black History Month Pack pays tribute to three astounding black athletes of our time – Julius Erving, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant. Nike remembers Dr. J for his unifying spirit as his energy and star-status helped combine the NBA and ABA; Michael Jordan for winning his first Slam Dunk title in 1987 and creating a unforgettable photographic memory forever instilled in sports and black history; Kobe Bryant for his astounding 81-point performance in 2006, signifying greatness in an era dominated team-oriented play.
The Nike Black History Month 2011 Collection includes the Converse Star Player, Air Jordan III, Nike Zoom Kobe VI, and the historic Nike Air Force 1; each installment of the Nike Black History Month 2011 Collection features the lustrious Black and Gold colorway and a particular graphic element in each shoe. Black represents the color of basketball shoes worn in the 1960’s, and Gold represents the supreme standard in which all of these notable individuals strive for. Continue reading for a detailed look at the entire Collection and stay tuned to Sneaker News for more information.
Official Nike Press Release
This year’s Black History Month Nike Air Force 1 celebrates the achievements and pioneering spirit of three important basketball players: Julius Irving, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant. There was a call to greatness for all three players, a moment in time that defined their careers, and changed the course of history for the sport of Basketball. For Dr. J, it was unifying the ABA and NBA with his finesse and high flying style. For Jordan, it was the ’87 Slam Dunk title, the one that made kids all over draw chalk lines to jump from in their backyards. When Kobe scored 81 points in ‘06, it made you question what planet he was from. Each player laid the foundation for the next to elevate the game even further.
The predominantly black upper of this Black History Month AF1 is a nod to the past, because in the early days of the sport of basketball, shoes on the court were almost always black. The hints of gold all around the shoe are reminders of the golden moment we all are striving to achieve. You’ll also find a woodblock cut print around the upper by artist Hele Woodruff, adding another chapter to the pioneer story.
With a premium Stetson leather upper, metal eyelets and accessories, gold stitching, and a clear tinted outsole, you’ll see this isn’t just your average AF1. This is a sneaker that celebrates a powerful pioneering spirit.