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Harambee Connection

Story and photo by Charlesetta Thompson

Leroy Allen was a three-time Golden Gloves Champion and a graduate of North Division. His book, Just A Little Country Boy, not only tells Allen’s story but the stories of many others who crossed his path along the way. Allen’s book records many of the changes in the attitudes toward African Americans in Milwaukee and across the nation during the last half of the 20th century.

This little country boy was born in Arkansas during the depression in 1935. In 1940 his father moved the family to Milwaukee in search of a better life.

In 1985 Allen was instrumental in the establishment of the Baby Joe Gans Foundation, which provides scholarships to deserving youth.

Allen’s long-time friend and fellow Golden Gloves Champion Sylvester Sims designed the book’s cover. The book takes many of us down memory lane with its photos of Walnut Street and social events from the past.

Riverwest Currents online edition – June, 2007