Charlie Wiggins, African American Racing Pioneer, to be Subject of New Biopic

Charlie Wiggins (Gold & Glory, PBS)

Charles “Charlie” Wiggins, the most famous African American race car driver of the 1920s and 1930s, is to be the subject of a new biopic, whose producing partners will include racing staples IndyCar and Firestone.

Set in the roaring 20s and depression era 30s, Eraced will chronicle the triumphs and struggles of the once-legendary-now-little-known Charlie “Speed King” Wiggins, who worked his way from shoe shine to mechanic to star racer despite the inequities of segregation and Jim Crow laws. After being barred repeatedly from whites-only racing events, Wiggins became a leading light of the parallel Colored Speedway Association and won the prestigious annual Gold and Glory Sweep-stakes four times between 1926 and 1935. Despite his remarkable achievements, Wiggins died almost penniless thanks to crippling medical bills which he had to pay for decades after suffering a career-ending injury in 1936.

The pioneering sportsman will be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame next week in Detroit.

Ed Welburn, former General Motors Vice President of Global Design, and Madisun Leigh of Welburn Media Productions banner are developing the feature. Racing organization IndyCar has pledged support for physical production, marketing and promotional opportunities during production, and additional marketing resources, including media, at time of release. Tire maker Firestone will be a production partner.

Producing are Grant Cramer (Lone Survivor), Leigh (Driven) and Welburn. Billionaire WWT founder/Chairman David Steward and Polarity CEO David Steward II (Hair Love) have partnered as financiers and will serve as executive producers alongside Marsha Malone and Randy Greenberg (The Meg) who sourced, negotiated and will manage the brand partnerships.

B. Garida (Reagan & Gorbachev), Courtney Gay Wilson (Bronze), and Madisun Leigh (Raphead Response) adapted the feature screenplay from the Emmy-winning documentary and book, For Gold and Glory: Charlie Wiggins and the African American Racing Car Circuit, both written and produced by Todd Gould.

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SOURCE: Deadline, Andreas Wiseman

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