Chronicles of the Black Jockeys Volume V: Era of the Celebrity Athlete: Isaac "Ike the Machine" Murphy

 “I am proud of my calling as I am proud of my record, and I believe my life will be recorded as a success, though the reputation I enjoyed was earned in the stable and saddle.  It is a great honor to be classed as one of America’s great jockeys”... Isaac "Ike" Murphy


The history of American horseracing has masked one terrible dimension and that is of the jockeys’ struggle with their weight in order to mount.  In fact, at the turn of the century, many of the great jockeys left the sport in America for England, France, Austria, Russia, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe, as European weight limits were less restrictive than in America.  “Flipping” as it was called, was the brutal crash dieting practiced by many jockeys in order to loose weight from one season to another, to remain compliant.  It was the equivalent of today’s bulimia or practices of self-induced vomiting or starving oneself to avoid gaining weight.  Both white and black jockeys “flipped” but the great black jockey Isaac Murphy, who started to flip as a teenager, would go on to struggle with this for his entire short life.  He would systematically go from 130 or 140 pounds to as little as 100 pounds to ride, going from loosing his winter weight in a space of weeks for example, to meet the Kentucky Derby’s requirements by May.

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Welcome to Ealy Mays Artworks

Celebration of over 150 years of Black Literary and Artistic development in Paris

Here you will find the works of one of the most prolific African American artists. Based in Paris, France, this selection includes current masterpieces as well retrospectives from a body of over 30 years as an ethnic artist painting in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Your choice of paintings, prints, posters, postcards, puzzles, memorabilia, T-shirts, collectibles, accessories,and more, is only a click away. Read more

It is the spectator and not life, that really mirrors art”  The Picture of Dorian Gray …Oscar Wilde

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