As a jockey, Isaac Murphy won the Kentucky Derby three times and has the highest winning percentage, 44, of any jockey in history.
When he died in 1896, thousands attended his funeral.
And, quickly, he disappeared from history as white America rewrote history in its own image.
Lexington took a small but important step toward restoring Murphy’s memory Monday when a towering stainless steel work celebrating his life and accomplishments was dedicated as the first permanent sculpture in the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden.
Part of the foundations of the mansion he built were unearthed during work to create the garden on what was a neglected wedge of land on one edge of Lexington’s historically black East End neighborhood.
Congratulations to all those who worked so hard to restore Murphy’s memory, honor his accomplishments and acknowledge our rich history.