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Posted by GET NJ on February 26, 2005 at 17:09:22:

Jersey City Free Public Library

February 23, 2005

CONTACT: Michele M. Dupey, Public Information Officer



JERSEY CITY, NJ February 23, 2005 – Calling all boxing fans!!!

Be ringside at the Pavonia Branch Library, 326 Eighth Street, on Monday, February 28, between 4 – 6 p.m., for the thrill of a lifetime: Hearing firsthand accounts of the lives of boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson and Edna Mae Robinson, dancer at the Cotton Club during the Harlem Renaissance, from their son, Ray Robinson II (RR2).

According to Pavonia Branch Manager Patricia Mehnert, the program’s two hours were scheduled purposefully to accommodate after school and after work, so that both students and adults can participate in the unstructured and dynamic Q&A-speaking style of RR2.

Ray Robinson co-authored the book, Pound for Pound, a biography of his father, Sugar Ray Robinson. The title stems from the oft-cited claim during his boxing career, “Pound for pound, the best.” The Ring magazine, in 1997, renamed Robinson the best when choosing him as the best boxer in its 75 years of publication. Possessing a lifetime record of 128-1-2, with 84 knockouts, Sugar Ray Robinson earned that nickname. Losing only once during his entire boxing career, to his rival, Jake LaMotta, Robinson fought LaMotta five additional times, winning all five bouts with the Raging Bull. Sugar Ray Robinson, 44, retired from boxing in 1965.

With a 125-fight winning streak – victorious over such boxers as Henry Armstrong, Kid Gavilan, Carmen Basilio, Rocky Graziano, Gene Fullmer and Randy Turpin – Sugar Ray Robinson rode those victories into the rarefied air occupied by all African-Americans whenever one of their own broke through the racial barrier. Muhammad Ali considered Sugar Ray Robinson, “the king, the master, my idol.”

“We are so happy and proud to be able to host Ray Robinson 2 during Black History Month,” said Library Director Priscilla Gardner. “And it’s a wonderful treat to learn of the family and professional lives of Edna Mae, as well as Sugar Ray, and of the special times that surrounded the era of the Harlem Renaissance.”

Ray Robinson 2 has been an independent producer and program developer for many years, having worked with the Reverend Jesse Jackson at the first Black Expo in New York City, in stage production and as co-producer, and in Santa Monica, CA, as exhibits service manager and assistant show manager. He worked with youth at risk in San Francisco (first Youth at Risk course, designated by the first President Bush for the Points of Light Foundation) and at Rikers Island in NYC (conceived and produced program, with Asst. Deputy Commissioner Sandra Lewis Smith of NYC Dept. of Corrections, Fighter for the Future). He is the founder of the Robinson Family project, One World, One Race – HUMAN, and currently in the process of establishing a museum in honor of his mother, Edna Mae, and father, Sugar Ray Robinson. Mr. Robinson is the father of five children, with one grandchild, and lives in New York City.

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