Black History 365 – First African American to achieve world championship in any sport

First African American to achieve world championship in any sport: Marshall "Major" Taylor, for 1-mile track cycling

First African American to achieve world championship in any sport: Marshall “Major” Taylor, for 1-mile track cycling

 

In 2016 for my Black History 365 series, I explore the obvious and not so obvious parts of American history that those called Black have taken part in. The things that we (Black people) have done other than be stolen from our homeland and made forced labor in a land foreign to us. I’m going to start this series by looking up the first time someone African-American did something and broke the color barrier in that activity or field. I’ll be starting with Wikipedia and working my way out:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_firsts

I will be learning a lot of this as I go since I am a product of the standardized Euro/Anglo/Caucasian leaning public school system. I hope you enjoy learning with me. I’ll be going down the list chronologically as it appears in the Wikipedia article.

If you have any other sources or additional information for this topic, please share in the comments. I also welcome any and all comments and discussion. Thanks for reading!

From BlackPast.org:

Taylor, Marshall W. (1878-1932)
He was a black pioneer in sports long before Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, and even the legendary Jack Johnson. He did not play baseball as Robinson did, nor was he a pugilist as were Johnson and Louis, and although he participated in a sport where the main objective was speed, he was not a track and field person as was Jesse Owens.

His name was Marshall “Major” Taylor, and he rode a bicycle. He was born in 1878 near Indianapolis and was soon recognized as a young black man with a natural talent for riding a bicycle. He had won a number of races in Indianapolis and Chicago by the time he was only fifteen years old. Because of the unadulterated racism directed toward him in the Midwest, he moved to Worchester, Mass., when he was seventeen, and he soon became one of the fastest American amateur cyclists. He turned professional in 1896 and became an overwhelming sensation. It is said that the spectators loved his bold courage. Because of his ability to ride and to win so often, as a black man he had to endure intense racist opposition. Yet he persevered and refused to allow racism to break his spirit.

In 1897 and 1898, because of rules that did not allow blacks to compete, Taylor was prevented from winning the American sprint championships. However, in 1899, after setting a number of world records, Taylor won the World Sprint Championship in Montreal. This achievement made him only the second black athlete to hold a title in any sport. (The first was bantamweight boxer George Dixon, who won the title fights in 1890-91.)

In 1901, Taylor had an exceptional European tour, where he defeated every European champion who challenged him. He raced for five seasons in Paris and two seasons in Australia. Retiring from racing in 1910, Taylor was characterized as “the fastest bicycle rider in the world,” even though his American career was extremely limited because of the color of his skin.

Sources:
 – Michael W. Williams ed., The African American Encyclopedia (New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1993); http://www.majortaylorassociation.org/who.htm.
– See more at: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/taylor-marshall-w-1878-1948#sthash.A0dKePJE.dpuf

Wikipedia references:

Bibliography

  • Autobiography: The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World, 1929 ISBN 0-8369-8910-4
  • Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer by Andrew Ritchie, 1988 ISBN 0-8018-5303-6
  • Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist by Lesa Cline-Ransome ISBN 0-689-83159-5
  • Major: A Black Athlete, a White Era, and the Fight to Be the World’s Fastest Human Being by Todd Balf ISBN 0-307-23658-7
  • “Tracks of Glory” (1992) TV mini-series (starring: Philip Morris)…. Marshall W. ‘Major’ Taylor … aka Tracks of Glory: The Major Taylor Story (International: English title: complete title)
  • Major Taylor: The Inspiring Story of a Black Cyclist and the Men Who Helped Him Achieve Worldwide Fame, by Conrad Kerber and Terry Kerber, Skyhorse Publishing, 2014. ISBN 978-1628736618

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d “Who was Major Taylor”. Bridgewater, Connecticut: Bridgewater State University. November 17, 2004.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d “Marshall W. “Major” Taylor: First Black world champion cyclist”. Afrik News, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j “They had a Dream”. Chronicle Telegram (Elyria, Ohio). March 8, 1970.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e “Recalling a Champ: Cyclist Major Taylor”. Southtown Star (Tinley Park, Illinois). October 18, 2009.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b “Pedalers Ready to Race”. The New York Times (New York, New York). September 26, 1895.
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b “Six Day Cycle Race”. The Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana). December 5, 1896.
  7. Jump up^ “Severe Spills – Defective Banking at Madison Square Garden Throws Many Riders”. Syracuse Daily Standard (Syracuse, New York). December 6, 1896.
  8. Jump up^ “Again Winners! Newton Tires”. Boston Daily Globe (Boston, Massachusetts). May 23, 1897.
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b Southwick, Albert B. (September 16, 2001). “Who was Major Taylor?”.Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Massachusetts).
  10. ^ Jump up to:a b c Ritchie, Andrew. Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988, page= p. 114; 131. Retrieved January 12, 2011.
  11. Jump up^ “Archdeacon: Cemetery brings sporting past to life”. Cox Ohio Publishing, 2010.
  12. Jump up^ Ritchie, Andrew. Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988.
  13. Jump up^ “Rich Cycle Race”. The Lowell Sun (Lowell, Massachusetts). August 6, 1904.
  14. Jump up^ Novich, Max M., Abbotempo, UK, 1964
  15. ^ Jump up to:a b Ritchie, Andrew. Bearings, US, 24 December 1896. Bicycle Books, US, 1988.
  16. ^ Jump up to:a b The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World. Autobiography, 1929 ISBN 0-8369-8910-4.
  17. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f “About Major Taylor”. Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  18. Jump up^ “Wheel Notes”. The Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio). August 6, 1904.
  19. Jump up^ Marshall W. “Major” Taylor Scrapbooks, 1897-1904, AIS.1984.07, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh
  20. Jump up^ “The Worcester Whirlwind” (PDF). Bicycle Indiana. July 30, 2009.
  21. Jump up^ Major Taylor Bicycling Club of Minnesota
  22. Jump up^ MAJOR TAYLOR CYCLING CLUB CHICAGO
  23. Jump up^ Major Taylor Cycling Club of New Jersey
  24. Jump up^ The Alum Creek Greenway Trail – The Central Ohio Greenway trail system
  25. Jump up^ Columbus Trail to be dedicated to Major Taylor, Aug 30th, 2010 by Jeff Stephens Consider Biking
  26. Jump up^ “Tracks of Glory (TV mini-series)”. imdb. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved14 August 2012.
  27. Jump up^ New-York Tribune. Library of Congress – (New York N.Y.) 1866-1924, July 22, 1901, Cycle Racing report

External links

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