Group paints mural in Jackson Ward to honor trailblazer

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Parts of the city are transforming ahead of the UCI Road World Championships. In Jackson Ward, a group is honoring a trail blazer in the cycling world. The corner of First and Marshall seemed just right to honor a man named Marshall.

Marshall “Major” Taylor was a cycling trailblazer in the 1800s and 1900s.

Stroke by stroke, volunteers with the Sir James Thornhill Global Arts Initiative are painting a mural to honor Marshall “Major” Taylor.

“Taylor was not allowed to race in the south during the late 1800s and early 1900s,” says Dawn Cherry with the  SJT Global Arts Initiative.

The barriers in the south forced Taylor to race in northern states and in Europe. He also went on to break other barriers, such as being one of the first African Americans to integrate an American sports teams. Despite the accomplishments, many don’t know his name, and that’s why organizers are painting the mural.

“We want the people to feel the presence of Major Taylor in this place. Major Taylor is riding again. His legacy is riding here and coinciding with the present day,” says Cherry.

The mural will be right along the race path. More visibility means more people will learn about Taylor’s place in history.

The group needs assistance to buy more paint to complete the project. If you would like to help, click here for details.

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