Marshall “Major” Taylor was the first African-American athlete to attain a world champion title – and he did by competing in cycling.
Despite bigoted policies that banned him from racing in some states, and social objections that subjected him to indignities such as having nails scattered in front of his wheels, Taylor took the racing world by storm. At 20 years old, he held seven world records at distances from 0.25 miles (0.4 kilometers) to 2 miles (3 kilometers) and, in 1899 and 1900, he was crowned “world sprint champion.”
Today, a rapidly growing number of African-American cycling clubs have taken the Major Taylor title to honor his legacy. Learn more at majortaylorassociation.org