Interview with Joe Taylor – Scott Cain

Posted: July 2, 2015 by lambentI2e in Information, juggling

The Summer of 1987 issue of Juggler’s World magazine, which was the IJA’s 40th Anniversary issue, included an article on Joe Taylor, the first African American member of the IJA, as well as other early black jugglers. The write-up, which can be read here, chronicled some of Joe’s performances and background, but at the end of that article, it stated that the organization really didn’t know what happened to Joe after the late 1950s. Well, 28 years after that article was written, and 57 years since the last contact with Joe, I can happily report that Mr. Taylor is still alive and well, and living in Queens, NY.

Joe Taylor – 2015

As the 1987 article reported, Joe responded to a question in a pre-IJA issue of the “Juggler’s Bulletin” from 1947 asking if anyone was aware of any black jugglers performing. One of the replies was from Joe Taylor, who informed Bulletin editor Roger Montandon that he was in fact a “colored juggler” and added his name to the membership to receive the Juggler’s Bulletin. Joe officially joined the IJA in 1947, its first year of existence, becoming the organization’s first black member, and one of the first overall.

For the full article, see here.

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