Mon, Feb 26|
THE WHIRLWIND PROJECT (INVITATION ONLY)
Help Us Tell Major Taylor’s Story We are making Whirlwind, a documentary film about the life of Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor the ‘Worcester Whirlwind’ America’s first Black world bicycle champion
Time & Location
Feb 26, 2024, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Concord Art, 37 Lexington Rd, Concord, MA 01742, USA
About the event
The WHIRLWIND PROJECT Fundraising Night on Monday February 26, is a gathering of cycling enthousiats, history professionals and social justice advocates who believe in the power of the Major Taylor story to educate, inspire and engage audiences. Please help us tell this untold American story. We are fundraising to produce a feature documentary film, entitled WHIRLWIND, about the life of Marshall "Major" Taylor.
More than a hundred years ago bicycle races drew crowds that filled Madison Square Garden. Marshall "Major" Taylor, the 1899 world bicycling champion, was the biggest star of all.
As a superstar athlete in the most popular sport of his era, Taylor's racing victories were well chronicled in mainstream newspapers and cycling publications. Throughout his career, he embodied the role carved out for him by promoters, the press, and fans. Known as "The Black Cyclone’’ Taylor was only allowed on the starting line because of his exceptional talent. He was constantly reminded, on and off the bike, that he was a Black American and didn't belong.
Major Taylor was allowed to compete against White riders as long as he didn’t act “uppity." White race promoters and competitors made it clear that his elite position could not be used as a platform to overtly demand that equality be extended to his entire race. Taylor had to contend with a balancing act familiar to Black athletes in America.
In a post-Civil War era governed by Jim Crow Laws in the South and overt racism nationwide, Major Taylor managed to be the first Black American world champion in any sport. His fame grew not only in America but in Europe and Australia as newspapers around the world reported his triumphs. The Boston Globe labeled him as ‘’The World Beater’’ in an August 1899 headline. Major Taylor died in obscurity in 1932.
The film will be a compelling combination of rare archival material, modern live cinematography, interviews with scholars, writers, bicycle historians and prominent athletes.
WHIRLWIND will be directed by independent filmmaker Cyrille Vincent. Professor Janette Thomas Greenwood, PhD, of Clark University’s History Department will serve as chief historical advisor. A panel of other humanities scholars from universities, associations and research centers around the country will serve as advisors.
The event will feature a presentation on Major Taylor by our distinguished guest speaker professor Janette Thomas Greenwood, PhD and a viewing of the film's trailer concept.
Drinks and hors-d'oeuvres will be served as well. We look forward to seeing you.
***Please note that this event is invitation only.***
Special thanks to our host committee
-Wade Rubinstein & Jill Block
Concord Art is located at 37 Lexington Road in downtown Concord.
Free parking is available on the street and behind the Holy Family Parish Church on Monument Square.
There is also off-street public parking available on Keyes Road in Concord Center.