Seems like an auspicious beginning for a week of black firsts.
Now F-1 Racing?
Today Lewis Hamilton won the Formula One Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix. At 23, Hamilton is the youngest F-1 winner in history and the first black man to win the championship. He grew up in Stevenage in public housing, the son of black Grenadian father and a white British mother. Being multiracial and multiethnic has not been without its pains for Hamilton but he has largely shrugged off the racially motivated attacks made against him.
Touted as the ‘Tiger Woods of F1’, he has avoided the golfing superstar’s controversial approach of describing himself as multi-racial rather than ‘black’. Some viewed that approach as Woods denying his Afro-American ancestry, even though he is more Thai than black.
For a long time the F1 champion chose to keep quiet on the subject.
But last October he took a stand on the issue of his race, naming Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King as his heroes.
“Being black is not a negative,” he told Black History Month magazine. “It’s a positive, if anything, because I’m different.”