''WHIRLWIND'' Co-director's calls for hosting the 2023 Major Taylor Invitational in Worcester -Mass.
After attending the Major Taylor Invitational last weekend in Indianapolis birth place of Major Taylor, it became clear to me that this was a movement of its own inspired by Marshall Walter ''Major'' Taylor , 1899 World Bicycle Champion.
I couldn't get enough of the celebration of Major Taylor legacy at the 2022 Invitational . This event was hosted by the Major Taylor Cycling Club of Central Indiana, a program of Bike Indianapolis in collaboration with the Major Taylor International Cycling Alliance .
I was told that more than 28 Major Taylor Cycling Clubs took part to this event, totaling around 500 MT Cycling Club members from all over the world .
During the weekend in Indianapolis , I had the privilege to visit the Indiana State Museum and the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site which was both amazing sites full of History knowledge and incredible Curators.
I will like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to Kisha Tandy Curator of Social History at the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites for the Major Taylor Festival that was hosted by the museum over the weekend and the amazing tour...
Tisha guided us through the exhibition with an intellectual agility that only a brilliant historian will posses. (Check more about the museum exhibition here : https://www.indianamuseum.org/experiences/major-taylor-fastest-cyclist-in-the-world/)
Also I got lost when I was leaving the Indiana State museum as it is a giant site and thankfully was rescued by the Kathy, the president and CEO of the Museum which led to a nice conversation about eventually screening the film in Indianapolis (IMAX Theatre)...everything happen for a reason.
I will also like to thank Jennifer E. Capps, VP of Curatorship & Exhibition at
Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site for guiding me through the exhibition "No 'Compact of Silence': Black Civil Rights Advocates in the Harrison Era" held at the Harrison Presidential Site.
The site has an original autobiography of Major Taylor signed by himself for his friend Carl Fisher who became later the founder of the Indiana Speedway.
The Book title : The Fastest Bicycle Rider In The World is a loan Courtesy of The Major Taylor Association.
Also thank you for the discount I had on my purchase here...I appreciate that!
As I was on the plane back to Worcester-Massachusetts , I had 2hr to reflect what has just happened and couldn't wrapped my head around all events of the weekend.
Even though my trip to Indiana started in chaos Friday 17th because of the 6hrs delay of my flight for severe weather reasons the airline company claimed...I arrived in Indianapolis at 2 am the Saturday 18th .
I took an Uber straight to my Hotel, when I arrived , I took a shower and felt asleep right away.
6:30 am Saturday 18th , I was up and when to the indicated breakfast bistro of my Hotel, there I met the first MTCC members participating in the Invitational having breakfast as well and getting ready for the morning group ride at 1 monument circle in Indianapolis.
From there it was a whirlwind of a weekend: networking, filming, networking ,eating , networking , laughing etc.
It was just wonder after wonder and I couldn't stop thinking on the plane back to Boston that this kind of Vibe need to be brought to Worcester Massachusetts ...
And why Worcester you will ask me ?
Well, because Worcester was the second home of Major Taylor. He left Indiana with his mentor ''Birdie'' Munger for Worcester, longing for a better environment as he was banned from most tracks and competition in Indianapolis because of his skin color.
Major Taylor lived in Worcester for most of the heigh of his career and was coined the ‘‘Worcester Whirlwind’’ by the press.
He was also a steadfast member of the John Street Baptist Church in Worcester Mass.
Major Taylor bought a house in Worcester , although the neighbors weren’t happy at first , he nevertheless lived there with his wife Daisy Morris and his daughter Sidney and eventually the neighbors grew to accept him as he was reputed to be a Champion and well mannered.
In addition , the Major Taylor Association is based in Worcester and has been working to preserve the legacy of Major Taylor for decades . The raised money to erect the only statue dedicated to Major Taylor in the world, the statue is believe to be the only statue dedicated to a black athlete in America and was inaugurated in 2008 by pro-eminent Hall of Fame Bicycle riders , Historians and local politicians.
Amongst other Major Taylor memorial , Worcester has a Major Taylor boulevard , a major Taylor Garage ,a Major Taylor Museum , a Major Taylor Mural and the film documentary about Major Taylor's life and career is being developed and produced by a Worcester base filmmaking team.
Recently as part of a the of the city of Worcester Tercentenial Anniversary ,Mike Daniel aka Major Taylor in ‘‘WHIRLWIND’’ film documentary was casted with many other local historical figures by the Worcester Historical museum to impersonate Major Taylor in the event parade .
After the first and successful Major Taylor Invitational in Indianapolis the birth place of Major Taylor , in regards to all the historical landmarks listed above and the importance of Worcester in the life of Major Taylor, I believe Worcester is the most appropriate location for the 2nd Edition of the Major Taylor Invitational that will happen in 2023.
In his own words Major Taylor wrote : “I was in Worcester only a very short time before I realized that there was no such race prejudice existing amont the bicycle riders there as I had experienced in Indianapolis,” Taylor wrote in his 1929 autobiography, “The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World.” In Indy, he had not been allowed to join the YMCA because of his skin color, but the Y in Worcester admitted him and working out there helped him develop the upper body strength to match his formidable leg power.
“I shall always be grateful to Worcester, as I am firmly convinced that I would shortly have dropped riding … were it not for the cordial manner in which the people received me,” he later wrote.
Is been 90 years today since Major Taylor has passed on June 21st of 1932 in Chicago , so I tough it will be a good idea to call for something like this on his passing anniversary.
Learn more about the film documentary ''WHIRLWIND''here :
Check out some Behind The scene pictures of the film set here : https://www.worcesterwhirlwind.com/projects-7
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