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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Racing Pioneer Willy T. Ribbs Talks Family, Race And New Netflix Film "Uppity" With SiriusXM's 'Auto Trends'



Like baseball’s Jackie Robinson, Willy T. Ribbs found himself in the thick of it too, dealing with the intersection of race and sports. As we embark upon Black History Month, the racing pioneer joins SiriusXM’s Auto Trends with JeffCars.com for a wide-ranging, must-hear two-part conversation.
In pursuing his dream to become a race car driver, Ribbs never allowed the hue of his skin tone to hinder his ‘drive,’ no pun intended. In fact, the racing legend was known as the Jackie Robinson of the racing world.


During our riveting talk, just like in his recently released Netflix documentary entitled, ‘Uppity,’ Ribbs gives us permission to ride along with him, as he shares the bumps, road blocks and unpaved trails he encountered on his path to becoming the first black person to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.

We open our conversation with the native Californian, delving into his family background, seeing what role, if any at all, Ribbs believes it played in terms of how he viewed race, as a young man, while navigating the all-male, all-white sport, he would eventually find himself being immersed in.


Photo Credit: WTR

However, before living out his dream, the biggest challenge the barrier breaker faced was going up against his millionaire grandfather, whom he respected dearly, to pursue his own path outside of the family business. Not even his father, whom also dabbled in racing, was able to muster up the nerve to respectfully go against the grains of the family patriarch.

As our conversation progress, Ribbs also allows us to explore the friendship he formed with the late Muhammad Ali, while both were out of the country. The racing legend even shares a personal anecdote, which caught Ali by surprise, being that both men had a reputation for being quick-witted and full of bravado.


The master storyteller wraps up our powerhouse conversation, discussing the one thing that still really makes him bitter today, with the sport of racing. Ribbs also discloses what role the automotive community has played in the sports lack of diversity.
Join us over the next two weeks as we get a chance to be seated at the (racing) feet of  living black history maker – Willy T. Ribbs.


Photo Credit: WTR


To Tune In:

SiriusXM - Friday, Sunday And Monday
To hear part-one of the conversation, tune in to Auto Trends with JeffCars.com, on Friday, February 7 at 12:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Channel 141. Encore broadcasts can be heard on Sunday, February 9 and Monday, February 10 at 12:00 p.m. ET and 1:30 p.m. ET, respectively.


Part two of the conversation continues on Friday, February 14 at 12:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Channel 141. Encore broadcasts can be heard on Sunday, February 16 and Monday, February 17 at 12:00 p.m. ET and 1:30 p.m. ET, respectively. 




Radio/Online - Saturday And Sunday


To hear the show for free, listen at 12 PM ET Saturdays on Pine Bluff, Arkansas' 89.7 FM. Listen online by visiting hot897pb.com.


The show airs at 1:00 PM ET Sundays on Tallahassee, Florida's 90.5 FM.






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