MODIFIED ARTICLE REVIEW 5
CyclingChampion Major Taylor and the African American Press." by Lynne,Major Taylor Association
MarshallTaylor an epitome of true greatness and bravery. Most people probablydo not know this great man. Marshall Taylor was born in Indianapolis,Indiana, in 1878. He came from a peasant family, his father, GilbertTaylor was employed by wealthy families. There he earned a living bydelivering letters by bicycle, he also pulled stunts while wearing amilitary uniform. Through wearing military uniform while performing,he got the famous name “major”. This name eventually became morepopular as many knew him as major. Marshall came from a family ofeight, and he rose to fortune because of his talent for ridingbicycles. Bicycles by then were a marveled most of the people.
MarshallTaylor was discriminated on the basis of his color. For instance, hewas barred from joining racing clubs in his city. He was told to keepoff certain racetracks and was not allowed along national circuits.This continuity in unfair treatment also meant that he was oftentargeted by the white press, who spread rumors and were constantlymisinforming people about him. The black American press also came outstrongly in supporting him and dealing with those other presses. Itwas also noted that the National Cycling Association treated MarshallTaylor harshly, for example, they never cared whether he was ill ornot. They insisted that he must race and even went ahead to fine himheavily for missed appearances. However, it was noticed that theNational Cycling Association was rather lenient to whites who fouledTaylor.
Socialclass differences and social expectation were crucial in Taylor’slife. He was from a humble background and was not allowed to race.When he wanted to join the YMCA, he could be allowed because he waspoor and ultimately because he was black. He also performed bicyclestunts in his childhood to get money.
Againstall the odds challenges Taylor faced, he rose up to become a worldicon through his wins in cycling. He won a major title and set uprecords in cycling and to become a champion. Taylor was a slave hisfather was and grandfather too. His father worked for the Southards,who were kind to them and treated them equally without color or classconsideration(Tolman & Major Taylor Association, 2011).
Marshallwas a highly principled and a religious man. He was a strictobservance of the Sabbath. A steadfast Baptist, he refused to race onthe Sabbath and often turned down the lucrative offers to compete inEurope. Propaganda and lies were generated and propagated by thewhite press because of his stand on the Sabbath. The Worcester Spy,for instance, suggested that he had weakened his position on theSabbath, something that stirred anger in Mars Hall. The Black pressproved to be of great help to Taylor because they defended him, andthis portrayed how he was influential and significant to the blackcommunity at that time. Marshall was accommodating, and law-abiding,even when he was heavily fined he still paid the penalty. He is arole model for the blacks the Freeman newspaper portrays him thatway.
Thereis an adverse violation of human rights. Marshall experiences abuseand even physical assault when on the tracks. He was gratified totake part in the national circuit even though he was sick. He wasalso forced to participate in a competition on the Sabbath day, whichto him is very crucial. Taylor was color struck he was attracted tohis wife’s fairer skin and was unhappy his daughter took after him.
MarshallTaylor’s story is fascinating and exciting, an oak of greatness hewas. He overcame racial abuse, modern day slavery, assault to becomethe world champion in cycling. The story inspires as one lowlyregarded man can rise beyond the odds to achieve true greatness. Areligious and principled man he was. Despite all this greatness, hewas not perfect in his life as he ended up dying in solitude.Conclusively Major Taylor is a modern day hero who deserves honor forhis achievement.
Tolman,L., & Major Taylor Association. (2011, November). CyclingChampion Major Taylor and the African American Press.Retrieved December 14, 2014, from readex.com:http://www.readex.com/readex-report/cycling-champion-major-taylor-and-african-american-press