Most people have never heard of Marshall "Major" Taylor, the first African American sports star. (Click here for more info.) In the late 1890s and early 1900s, he lit the bike racing world on fire. If he were performing at the same level today, he might be as famous as Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan.
The recently built Major Taylor Trail on the south side is named for him, with a mural along the trail at 111th Street. His grave is several miles away, separated by some bike-UNfriendly industrial territory.
One of the best memorials may be a program for kids in Portland, Oregon. And here's a recent item about the kids.
Here in Chicago, Yojimbo's Garage is starting a youth track racing program. Maybe the next Major Taylor is in the making.