The NBA began the 2023-24 season last month with no Black majority-owned franchises for the first time in 20 years. As University of Colorado Boulder media scholar Jared Bahir Browsh points out, this lack of diversity is particularly galling given that 70% of NBA players are Black.

It wasn’t always this way. Though the NBA has had only one Black majority-owned franchise – along with a few Black minority owners – there’s a rich history of Black-owned teams prior to the emergence of the NBA.

Browsh takes readers to Harlem’s Renaissance Ballroom & Casino, where Black businessman Bob Douglas and his New York Rens competed for 25 years. Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the team’s first game, and the Rens would go on to dominate basketball in the 1920s and 1930s – at one point ripping off an 88-game win streak.

In an era ripe with the exploitation of Black athletes, Browsh writes that owners like Douglas “saw an opportunity to support Black communities through sports by keeping talent – and money – from exclusively lining the pockets of white owners.”

This week we also liked articles about Chinese diplomacy in the Middle East, why the concept of asteroid mining is so alluring, and evidence that kids benefit from having “secure attachments” to two parents rather than just their moms.

Nick Lehr

Arts + Culture Editor

The New York Rens played from 1923 to 1948. Black History Heroes/Twitter

A century ago, a Black-owned team ruled basketball − today, no Black majority owners remain

Jared Bahir Browsh, University of Colorado Boulder

Led by a Black businessman named Bob Douglas, the New York Rens, who played their first game on Nov. 3, 1923, became one of the best basketball teams in the country.

Strong, supportive relationships with moms, dads and nonparental caregivers are all vital. skynesher/E+ via Getty Images

Secure attachment to both parents − not just mothers − boosts children’s healthy development

Or Dagan, Long Island University Post; Carlo Schuengel, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Psychologists have long focused on the importance of a secure attachment with a mother for healthy child development. A new look supports the value of attachment – but it doesn’t have to be with mom.

China’s President Xi Jinping meets Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas in Beijing on June 14, 2023. Jade Gao/AFP via Getty Images

Israel-Hamas war puts China’s strategy of ‘balanced diplomacy’ in the Middle East at risk

Andrew Latham, Macalester College

Beijing’s tone on the Middle East crisis has shifted since Hamas’s initial attack, becoming increasingly pro-Palestinian.

The Conversation Quiz 🧠

  • Here’s the first question of this week’s edition:

    On October 30, the Biden Administration unveiled what in response to the growth of artificial intelligence?

    1. A. A temporary research ban
    2. B. A sweeping set of guidelines
    3. C. A new federal department
    4. D. A TikTok of "Kamala Harris" doing a robot dance

    Test your knowledge