On the Shoulders of Giants: Sports Documentary

Sports Docu

The documentary On the Shoulders of Giant, narrated by Jamie Foxx and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, tells the story of the Harlem Renaissance Big Five, also known as the Harlem Rens.

In 1939, the world of professional basketball was segregated. “Colored” teams could compete against white teams, but could not vie for championships or belong in the same leagues.

Among those teams was the Harlem Rens, one of the best of black teams yearning for a chance at a national championship. The players not only beat tremendous odds, such as pervasive racism, to mention the Great Depression, but became the first world champions of professional basketball.

The story of the Rens isn’t just a story of an African-American basketball team; it’s also a profoundly American story about an athletic and moral victory.

Iconomy, Morales’ production company, has been working with Abdul-Jabbar and his charitable organization, the Skyhook Foundation, which was established to allow Kareem to connect with young people by combining sports and education, and history, which Abdul-Jabbar hopes will inspire them to reach for higher educational goals.

On the Shoulders of Giants is narrated by Jamie Foxx and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with music by will.i.am (Black Eyed Peas), Herbie Hancock and Chuck D (Public Enemy) with special film appearances by Spike Lee, Dr. Maya Angelou, Dr. Cornel West, Dr. Richard Lapchick, Samuel L. Jackson, Jerry West, Bill Russell, Charles Barkley, Carmelo Anthony, and many other NBA legends.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, basketball legend and best-selling author, will present his film On the Shoulders of Giants, directed by Deborah Morales, at the Gene Siskel Film Center.