Nov. 12, 2019

Remembering The Greatest Female Track Star Of All Time

June 23, 1940 The Birth Of A Black Goddess "Wilma Rudolph" Notes and a Poem November 12, 1994. #theblackmanwhoreadsaloud

Wilma Rudolph was born June 23, 1940 in Clarksdale, Tennessee, she passed at the age of 54 on November 12, 1994, in Nashville, Tennessee.

In Rome during the 1960 Olympics Wilma Rudolph defied the odds and obstacles that life had already placed before her. She was born with bone ailments at birth so restrictive that she had to wear braces to strengthen her bones and joints. So even before she put on her track cleats Wilma Rudolph had physical obstacles she had to overcome. Overcome them Wilma Rudolph did and she eventually ended up on the famous Tennessee State Tiger Belles track team. The team that was coached by the famous Ed Temple. Ed Temple was selected to be the United States Women’s Track and Field Coach at 1960 Olympiad in Rome, Italy. Ed Temple’s secret weapon was the beautiful, cat quick Wilma Rudolph.

It was the 1969 Rome Olympics that featured a young black man from Louisville, Kentucky who would go on to worldwide fame later in his professional career, Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay). However, it was Wilma Rudolph who stole the show in Rome. Some say her world class performance in the birthplace of the Olympics was one of the greatest if not the greatest performances by any female in the Olympic history. Miss Wilma Rudolph was deemed a magnificent black queen of exceptional talent on the international tracks she ruled with athletic excellence. The Italians called her La Gazelle Nera (“The Black Gazelle”) while the French called he La Perle Noire (“The Black Pearl”). Bigoted Whites folks in her home nation of America simply called Wilma Rudolph that fast nigger girl. Well, let’s say Wilma Rudolph was great beyond reproach in many of our black homes after her performance in Rome in 1960.

This poem was written to salute Wilma Rudolph on her birthday and I bring it back on her anniversary of passing onto that eternal track.

The memory is so clear of the black gazelle streaking down the track
This black ebony goddess born with Mercury’s wings
Once Wilma’s legs started to churn the black track’s surface was surely about to burn
Wilma was said to be the french version of a precious black pearl
However in her own country Wilma treatment by White America was consistently stern
Yet that didn’t stop Wilma from getting all the gold in Rome she earned
You see Wilma was never too shy but Wilma was definitely fly
Racial hatred couldn’t make Wilma break down or cry
If you ever spoke to Wilma she place you on a natural high
You see even off the track Wilma Rudolph’s grace never allowed her to feel be out of place
Wilma never was shook
Wilma’s pride was never took
Wilma’s life indeed was an open book
That why Wilma Rudolph’s life still deserves a second look
You see Wilma knew victory couldn’t be achieved without some struggle
Wilma Rudolph could truly fly
Wilma’s soul now is in heaven riding high
This Black Goddess born with Mercury’s wings now looking over black girls future dreams