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WTIU’s Todd Gould receives Marshall “Major” Taylor Trailblazer Award

Todd Gould | WTIU Producer

Todd Gould

Todd Gould, senior producer/director at WTIU, has been named the recipient of the Marshall “Major” Taylor Trailblazer Award for his work on WTIU’s documentary Major Taylor: Champion of the Race. This award is a joint presentation by the Bronzeville Trail Task Force, a citizen activist group dedicated to preserving and promoting the historical legacy of Chicago’s African American community, and US Representative Jonathan L. Jackson (IL-1). 

The Marshall “Major” Taylor Trailblazer Award was named for Taylor, the first international sports superstar, who set more than 20 world records in track cycling at the turn of the 20th century. Taylor was also an early civil rights pioneer who fought for greater social and economic opportunities for African American citizens during the heart of Jim Crow America. The “trailblazer” award title refers to a line from Taylor’s autobiography, in which he wrote, “In a word, I was a pioneer, and therefore had to blaze my own trail.” Gould and WTIU are the first to produce a full-length documentary on Major Taylor.

“I am deeply honored that the Bronzeville Trail Task Force has chosen to award WTIU and me with the Marshall ‘Major’ Taylor Trailblazer Award in 2024. Our mission at WTIU PBS is to share these important stories of art, history, and culture in the United States. Documentary films such as Major Taylor: Champion of the Race can help audiences come to a greater understanding of the mission and hard work of community groups like the Bronzeville Trail Task Force to preserve this important history and promote greater social, economic, and cultural freedoms in the US and beyond,” said Gould.

Gould is the second recipient of this honor. The inaugural Marshall “Major” Taylor Trailblazer Award was presented in September 2022 to former United States Senator Carol Moseley-Braun, a Chicago-based national political and social activist and American diplomat. 

In addition to co-presenting the Trailblazer award to Gould, Representative Jackson’s office has invited Gould to participate in a screening of Major Taylor: Champion of the Race on Capitol Hill. This free public event will take place in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building on Thursday, June 27 at 6 p.m. Following the screening, Gould will take part in a discussion about the film.

The Major Taylor screening is being organized by Representative Jackson and Mike Thompson (CA-4) and PBS Government Affairs. Last December, Jackson introduced a bipartisan bill to award Taylor the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously. Representative Thompson is one of the co-sponsors of the bill.

Learn more about Major Taylor: Champion of the Race at The documentary is available to stream on the PBS App.