Car News Updated Hourly

MotorTrend Highlights Motorsports and Automotive Trailblazers for Black History Month

Merriam-Webster defines trailblazer as “one that blazes a trail to guide others.” Trailblazers are important because they show the rest of us where it’s possible to go—where we can exist. The thing is, trailblazers are few among a group. So when they’re found, it’s beneficial to rest of us to make sure that they’re seen, that they’re known. That’s why I am honored to be part of MotorTrend‘s celebration of Black History Month, highlighting individuals who have stepped up to make a difference.

From the beginning, a significant part of the Black experience in America has been about barriers. The lasting effects of slavery and segregation have resulted in a trauma in which Black people are skeptical and wary of places where we don’t see ourselves. When Black people see spaces dominated by a culture of white people, we suspect that if we try to enter those spaces, be it an industry, sport, art, or subculture, we’ll be forced out. Oftentimes those suspicions are true. The automotive space and motorsports are no different. If you don’t believe me, here are some things to consider.

Formula 1 is 74 years old and has only had two Black drivers in its entire history. NASCAR is 76 years old and has had less than 25 Black drivers in its history. There are only four active Black drivers in the top NASCAR series, only one of which is in the top-level cup series. Indy Car is 119 years old, but only two Black drivers have ever competed in the Indy 500 in over a century. This isn’t just happening in motorsports, either. There are relatively few Black people that have had positions of power when looking at the history of most major automakers.

That’s why, over the course of this month, you’re going to meet some very special trailblazers who are making a difference on the track and in the industry. You’ll meet Myles Rowe, pictured above, who is the first Black driver to win an American open-wheel racing series and is well on his way to being the first to enter the Indy 500 in over two decades.

You’ll also get to know Chris Harris, pictured here, founder of the African American Automotive Association. Harris is dedicating his life to educating Black youth about all the things motorsports and the automotive industry has to offer.

Motorcycle drag and open-wheel racer Dystany Spurlock, pictured above, will share her story about competing and succeeding as an African American woman competing in motorsports that are white-male dominated. Her confidence and desire to push herself is infectious. She’s also an NHRA team owner and has two other businesses she runs by herself. I was lucky enough to get some time to discuss her experiences as a double-minority and how she stays focused on winning rather than the opinions of others.

However, considering that the theme of our Black History Month celebration is spotlighting trailblazers, I want to start with someone right here at MotorTrend. Chances are if you’re an avid Hot Rod reader, you’re familiar with KJ Jones. A graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, Jones has decades of experience as a racer and builder.

With a specific affinity for late-model Mustangs, Jones became the senior technical editor for 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords Magazine. Today he’s a senior editor at Hot Rod, and you’ll regularly see him at events like the Hot Rod Power Tour and Hot Rod drag week.

Jones is the first African American staff writer in the MotorTrend Group. With every article that bears his byline, every event that he attends, and every video he hosts, KJ Jones is showing the world that car enthusiasts come in all colors. Jones continues to be an inspiration with every contribution he makes to Hot Rod and MotorTrend, and I’m honored to have collaborated with him on these features.

By giving KJ Jones and myself the opportunity to tell the stories of the remarkable individuals you’ll read about this month, we hope to bring more diversity and inclusivity to the automotive space. Stay tuned for excellent coverage of some exciting individuals.

This article was originally published by a www.motortrend.com . Read the Original article here. .

Subscribe To Our Email List

If you ain't first, you're last! Join to get the latest updates and exclusive offers!

Welcome to the club!

Something went wrong.