12 June 2007
The Black Dad Phenomenon

Tiger Woods
Michael Jackson
The Williams Sisters
Five Star (for those of you of a certain age)

And now…

Lewis Hamilton

All highly - almost unbelievably - successful.  In each case their fathers have been heavily involved in their success.

Are there any other examples?  Does Colin Powell, for instance, fall into this category?

Is this a black thing?  I am struggling to bring to mind any whites who have had similar success let alone ones with a similarly influential father figure. [By the way, and before anyone points this out to me, I am aware that Lewis Hamilton is as white as he is black and that Woods is as Thai as he is black.  It’s the ethnicity of the father I find interesting.]

Is it the only black thing?  Can you be black and massively successful without an influential father?

Is it a Western Atlantic thing?  I am struggling to think of any Africans who fall into this category.

Whatever the cause, for the time being it is enough to sit back enjoy a brilliant driver and (what appears to be) a smashing bloke continue to rewrite the record books.

PermalinkFeedback (2)Default


  1. For Michael Jackson read almost the entire family, surely.

    Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 13 June 2007 at 04:22am

  2. Jensen Button was supported throughout his driving career by his father. So was Michael Schumacher. So that, at least, is a motor racing phenomena. And hardly surprising given that just going go-karting will cost £1500 per annum. Go beyond karting and the sport costs £6000 p.a. upwards depending on the level you take it to.

    The Jacksons had a rather obsessive father - hence Michael’s emotional problems. But then so did the Osmonds.

    The Willims sisters have an obsessive father - but many tennis stars (particularly female it seems) have had pushy parents. Tennis and golf tend to need very early participation hence they benefit from pushy parenting.

    I’m quite glad that Britain isn’t particularly good at sports. Australian success at sport is usually achieved by taking young children and obsessively pushing them into doing mindless and repetitive sports practice every day.

    Lewis Hamilton seems like a very nice guy, so I sincerely hope and believe that his father has supported rather than pushed his son’s participation in motorsport.

    Posted by Ryan Stephenson on 03 July 2007 at 07:17pm

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.