First black cycling world champion featured on a film tribute
The work still needs funds to be completed
Entitled “Whirlwind”, the film will portray the spectacular journey of athlete Major Taylor who came to the spotlight when he won the podium of the first black world champion in cycling, being one of the first superstars of the sport in the world. The work is being scripted and directed by Cyrille Vincent, and has received support from organizations such as the Worcester Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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In an interview for Worcester Magazine, Cyrille Vincent explained that he was inspired to make the film when he came across Major Taylor’s memorial near his home in the United States. The director was excited about the opportunity, given that the athlete opened doors for black cyclists who had no idea they could achieve victory in the profession.
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In late 2022, the production began to be publicized to Hollywood producers and gained community support. In the project trailer there are some scenes of interviews with black athletes, historians, award-winning authors, archival materials, academic information and scenes that were recreated through Major Taylor’s autobiography.
For Andrew Ritchie, author of the book “Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of Champion Bicycle Racer”, the athlete’s film work is very important for society and influences younger people who want to pursue a career in cycling. “He was the first African American to take on the sport’s power structure and to insist and succeed in his right as a black man to compete on equal terms with all others against incoherent and consistent racist opposition from authorities and rivals”.
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