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Marshall Major Taylor: World Champion Bicyclist, 1899-1901

Marshall Major Taylor: World Champion Bicyclist, 1899-1901

by Marlene Targ Brill

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
Bicycle racing enjoys a renewed interest in the United States today, due in large part to Lance Armstrong and his successes. However, even before Jackie Robinson was breaking the race barrier in baseball, an African American boy named Marshall Taylor was making his name known in bicycle riding. In the late 1800s, bicycle racing was a major sport in both the United States and in Europe. Marshall Taylor began his climb to success when, at the age of thirteen, he won his first race. By 1890, he was the fastest bicycle rider in the world. Even though Taylor faced racial discrimination every day from his fellow athletes and the fans of his sport, he continued to do his best to represent black Americans. Essentially unknown to today's students, Taylor was internationally known for his skill as a racer. Little of his early life is known except that he was born in Indianapolis in 1878. Although Taylor's parents were free blacks, his grandparents had been slaves in Kentucky before the Civil War. Many of the limitations placed on Taylor in America did not apply to him as he raced in Europe. His inability to eat at the same restaurants or stay in the same hotels as other athletes drove him to the international venue, but he always came back home to the US. Historic photographs make up the major part of the illustrations, all in black and white. The appendix pages include an index, a timeline, a glossary, and recommended readings. This title needs to be in all middle school collections, in order to encourage young men to strive to overcome obstacles and achieve their dream. It is part of the series, "Trailblazer Biography."

Product Details

Gale Group
Publication date:
Trailblazer Biographies Series
Product dimensions:
7.02(w) x 9.37(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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