Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lights Out

Joe Louis, who earned the nickname "The Brown Bomber," was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. This bronze monument, commissioned by Time Inc. for the city of Detroit, was dedicated in his honor on Oct. 16, 1986, just five years after his death at the age of 66. The monument is a 24-foot-long arm and fist suspended from a pyramidal support of bronze poles. Weighing 8,000 pounds, it rises 24 feet above the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Woodward near the downtown riverfront. The sculpture was fabricated at the Robert Graham Studio in Venice, Calif. Louis grew up in Alabama, but in 1926, at the age of 12, shaken by a gang of white men in the Ku Klux Klan, his family fled to Detroit. "Louis's cultural impact was felt well outside the ring," according to Wikipedia. "He is widely regarded as the first African American to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, and was also a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II."

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