Encore Box: First Black Driver In Top Ranks of Auto Racing Lewis Hamilton

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Updated: November 26, 2006

Originally Published: November 26, 2006 FIRST BLACK DRIVER IN TOP RANKS OF AUTO RACING LEWIS HAMILTON

HAMILTON READY FOR BIG TIME

No he’s not African American

out of the West Indies

( living in England )

which also means

AFRICAN

And it’s not NASCAR

it’s Formula One which is

Bigger in the rest of the World

especially Western Europe

and he’ll be racing for

British not American team

SO WHAT

Lewis Hamilton just became the First Major League Black Driver in the history of “modern” motor racing. And Hamilton is all of 21. He won’t be driving for some 3rd rate unknown team but for the storied McLaren team. And his co-driver isn’t some retread. It’s 2 time world champ the Spaniard Fernando Alonso.

Nothing like starting at the Top

Hamilton’s meteoric rise in the world of Big Time Racing has been triggered by him winning GP2 Championship this year which can be considered the Triple A League for Formula One. Here is how McLaren team boss Ron Dennis describes Hamilton, “Since 1998 Lewis has formed an important part of our long-term strategy and we are pleased that we are able to help him take another step and achieve his dream of becoming a Formula One racing driver.”

In other words starting when Hamilton was a “mature” 13 too young for his driver’s license. Lewis Hamilton is an Auto Racing Prodigy, Black Prodigy even far better. Since Britain has not had a driver as World Champion since 1996, ten long years, the expectation is that Hamilton is not only poised to be the first Formula One Grand Prix Black Driver but long long before his 30th birthday bring the Championship back to not so Great Britain.

Yes do we even need to mention it. He is already being “hailed” as the Tiger Woods of Motor Racing. Let’s hope not. He is more appreciative of his Blackness than Woods. As Lewis puts it, “The way I see it, m y color is an advantage in that it’s something people talk about.” Imagine Tiger saying that ??

Well compare Rookie Lewis Hamilton to a far better role model African American Ryan Howard who came out of no where to be Baseball’s National League Rookie of the Year last season ,this year National League MVP.

As for team boss Ron Dennis

as a White Guy his view is different …

” His blackness isn’t important,” he said last year. “`I have consistently said to him: the moment that you exploit your blackness, you are going to have a problem with me. Basically, you’ve got to develop your career on your ability to drive a racing car.” OK Whitey. Yes won’t it be Terrible if Hamilton uses his success and fame to interest better inspire more Black Americans and Black Europeans in auto racing in general and Formula One specifically.

After all we don’t want this

to get out of hand maybe some

day 10% of the drivers Black

and God Forbid that trend

even spreading to NASCAR

( run for the exits )

yes it would be a sure sign

the End of the World

as we know it has

Finally Come

Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box ……. blackbox@blackathlete.net

READY TO RACE WITH THE BIG BOYS