FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne native Madison Moore was a huge reader growing up who loved books. Now, at the age of 24, she’s a published author of a new children’s book, More Than Just a Game: The Black Origins of Basketball. Earlier this month, she was back home from Chicago for her first event promoting the book on a Friday afternoon at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne.
“It’s kind of surreal,” she said as she soaked in the moment. “I’m from Fort Wayne. I grew up here.” After graduating from Homestead High School in 2015, Moore attended the University of Chicago and double majored in English and Visual Arts. The 2019 graduate got her foot in the door in the publishing business as an editor at Albert Whitman & Company.
Her first book tells the story of the Black Fives and celebrates the history of basketball from a Black perspective. It sheds light on how the trailblazers changed Black communities and how they helped make the sport into what it is today. “For me, it’s a story of inspiration. This history is showing excellence, despite overcoming huge obstacles.”
Moore felt special inspiration to write the book. “I think because I didn’t know it, and that felt so wrong to me. It felt like history that was so exciting, something to be so proud of, and I had never heard it.” That bothered her. “I guess that made me a little bit angry about the way we learn history.” In recent years there has been a push to make the publishing industry more diverse. “It’s important that we’re telling history from other perspectives besides just a mainstream viewpoint.” That includes hearing from young, black voices and other minorities, “because they’re shaping our world and they’re often left out of the narrative. I want that to be visible.”
Marc Moore watched the children in the gymnasium as his daughter read her book to them. “Some of the kids here today may have thought about something like this, or maybe they didn’t think about something like this, but this gives them a pathway, or an avenue to know that they can do it as well.” After the reading, Madison signed copies of her book. One child said “congratulations,” another smiled and said “thank you so much, I love your book!” The words meant a lot to the young author. “Obviously, I hope to get the book in the hands of a lot of young readers, so getting to witness that for the first time was really special.” Her mother, Tricia Moore, couldn’t agree more. “It makes me a very proud mom. She’s an amazing young lady. Just seeing this come to fruition for her it makes my heart burst.”
After every book was signed, and every picture taken, Moore hopes the young members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne walk away with an important reminder. “They have the potential to be anything they want to be. The ability to chase their dreams and overcome any obstacle like the players in the book overcoming segregation to be the best players on the court. So, big or small, you can pursue and achieve whatever you want.”
It’s easy to see why Madison Moore is Positively Fort Wayne.
On top of Madison’s busy schedule, she has a second book coming out next year and is a professional Ultimate Frisbee player with the Milwaukee Monarchs.