FILM PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE ARCHITECTS OF THE NEGRO NATIONAL LEAGUE THAT PRODUCED SOME OF THE GREATEST PLAYERS IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL
Bronx, NY – On July 11th, 2023, at the Concourse Plaza Multiplex Cinemas at 214 East 161st Street, Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson was joined by CEO & Founder of First and Pen, Yussuf Khan; Head of Publicity, Magnolia Pictures, George Nicholis; and nearly one-hundred Bronx residents for a screening of the highly acclaimed film, “The League,” a documentary directed by Sam Pollack and executive produced by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson that celebrates the dynamic journey of the Negro National League.
“The Negro National League serves as an example of perseverance as they experienced unprecedented racism during their prime but yet were still able to overcome these systemic barriers to achieve greatness in American baseball history,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “A segregated sport from the on-set, it took nearly 60 years for Jackie Robinson to break the color barrier after signing on with the Brooklyn Dodgers, paving the way for others to follow. I want to thank CEO & Founder of First and Pen, Yussuf Khan, Head of Publicity, Magnolia Pictures, George Nicholis, director Sam Pollack and executive producer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson for their commitment to accurately capturing and chronicling this piece of our nation’s history.”
“Being able to showcase culturally impactful stories through films like “The League” continues our mission at First and Pen of informing, inspiring and connecting communities through voices of color in sports,” said Yussuf Khan, CEO & Founder of First and Pen. “I’m excited that we were able to accomplish that mission once again in the Bronx this year.”
The film features archival footage and never-before-seen interviews with legendary players including Buck O’Neil and Hall of Fame Inductees Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron, whose early careers paved the way for the Jackie Robinson era. It also pays tribute to Hall of Famer Andrew “Rube” Foster who, with his fellow team owners, founded the Negro National League in 1920.
“The League” premiered at the Tribeca Film Fest on June 12th and opens for national distribution on July 14th.