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Breaking Away On Two Wheels: Major Taylor

Statue of Major Taylor in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Leonardo Dasilva/Wikimedia
Statue of Major Taylor in Worcester, Massachusetts.

  You probably know well the story of the African-American man breaking the color barrier in his sport. But this is not a story about Jackie Robinson or baseball.

A half-century before Robinson suited up for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Major Taylor made his way into the ranks of bicycle racers, at a time when cycling was at its zenith and American race relations were entering their nadir.

Taylor's success is told in the book The World's Fastest Man: The Extraordinary Life of Cyclist Major Taylor, America's First Black Sports Hero.

Micheal Kranish, investigative reporter for The Washington Post, wrote the book and joins us with highlights.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.