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Morrisania honors famed unicycle act with street renaming

Vanessa Gibson, a city councilmember and the Democratic nominee for Bronx borough president, was joined by family and friends of the Troupe’s founder, Jerry King, for the event.

News 12 Staff

Jul 24, 2021, 5:54 PM

Updated 1,059 days ago

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A Morrisania street corner is being renamed for a trailblazing unicycle act that was first discovered near its location.
Rev. Bill Minson first noticed the King Charles Unicycle Troupe in 1965 at a playground near Clinton Avenue and 170th Street.
Minson would become the group’s manager and would have them appear on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, performing at NBA games and become the first all-Black act in the Ringling Bros. Circus.
The troupe was honored with a street being co-named “King Charles Unicycle Troupe Way” and celebrated the achievement by performing their one-wheeled basketball game that was a hit for nearly two decades touring with the circus.
Vanessa Gibson, a city councilmember and the Democratic nominee for Bronx borough president, was joined by family and friends of the Troupe’s founder, Jerry King, for the event.
King never forgot the Bronx, using the unicycle to teach and mentor children in the borough. Their motto is “Building Character on Wheels.”
King died in 1996, but they say the street naming makes sure his legacy will live on.
“Today we honor Jerry King’s dream,” Minson says. “Here are the receipts America, the American dream is alive and well on Clinton Avenue in the Bronx.”
The troupe is still active now, featuring 10 members between the ages of 18 and 51.


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