Isaac Burns Murphy (1861--1896) was one of the most dynamic
jockeys of his era. Still considered one of the finest riders of
all time, Murphy was the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby
three times, and his 44 percent win record remains unmatched.
Despite his success, Murphy was pushed out of Thoroughbred racing
when African American jockeys were forced off the track, and he
died in obscurity.
In The Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy, author
Pellom McDaniels III offers the first definitive biography of this
celebrated athlete, whose life spanned the Civil War,
Reconstruction, and the adoption of Jim Crow legislation. Despite
the obstacles he faced, Murphy became an important figure -- not
just in sports, but in the social, political, and cultural
consciousness of African Americans. Drawing from legal documents,
census data, and newspapers, this comprehensive profile explores
how Murphy epitomized the rise of the black middle class and
contributed to the construction of popular notions about African
American identity, community, and citizenship during his
Subjects: History, Sociology
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