Black Heritage in Racing exhibit unveiled at the Derby Museum
The Kentucky Derby Museum welcomed the media to its March 26 ribbon cutting and introduction of the new Black Heritage in Racing exhibit. The updated exhibit opened to the public on Monday, March 29.
The exhibit has had a permanent but less prominent display in the museum since 1993 on the museum's second floor. This new display has been recreated with bold color, oral histories, and is 20% larger than its previous version, now prominently displayed with importance on the museum's first floor.
Black horsemen dominated horseracing in the sport's youth, until Jim Crow laws forced the jockeys out of the sport. The expanded exhibit celebrates the men who were there, like Oliver Lewis the jockey who one the first Kentucky Derby in 1875; and, Isaac Murphy, born enslaved, who won 44% of his races (and three Derby races), compared to the 20% average of today's jockeys.
Included is an hour-long monthly live performance, Proud of My Calling, which reenacts the stories of jockeys celebrated in the updated exhibit, bringing to life the proud Black heritage of horseracing.