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You Tube Gold: A Great American Pioneer

This Is a very impressive documentary about a guy who is about as American as they come: bold, fearless and brilliant.

Al Unser, Jr. - CART Indy Car 1980s
Willie T. Ribbs, not shown here, was a brilliant American race car driver who
Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images

Willy T. Ribbs is a retired race car driver who moved between different types of racing, including Formula One, NASCAR, Trans Am and was also the first African-American to compete at Indy.

This is a long documentary so you’ll want to set aside a good block of time.

There’s a lot of disappointment, racism and the guy gets shafted on a regular basis.

However, he also shows some of the very best American virtues: stubbornness, hard work and a refusal to take no for an answer.

You watch this and you see this man who clearly was a brilliant racer who was never fully allowed to compete on an even basis with his colleagues and rivals.

Near the end he says “Those five hundred miles meant everything. I wanted to show the racing world the color of my skin did not matter. I won. I won. I didn’t win the 500. I won against all the obstacles and odds that were against me. Everything I was dealing with, I was saying ‘I won.’”

He’s immensely admirable. If you don’t know his story, or even if you do, you should watch this. It’s tremendous. We can’t embed this so hit the link above.