The Naming of Winged Fist Way

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer; Ian McGowan, Executive Director of the Winged Fist Organization; Congressman Joe Crowley and State Senator Michael Gianaris.

June / July 2012

A stretch of 43rd Street and 48th Avenue in Sunnyside, Queens, received a second name on March 10. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, it became Winged Fist Way, in honor of the Irish American Athletic Club. The I-AAC, whose members were known as The Winged Fists, thrived in Sunnyside at the beginning of the 20th century as one of New York’s first inclusive, multicultural athletic institutions, and a record-setting number of its members brought home medals from the Olympics.

“It is important that we recognize the achievements of this dynamic athletic club which once called Sunnyside and the borough home,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who passed legislation to co-name the street. “Before its members knew it, the I-AAC laid the foundation of what would become the essence of Queens, a multicultural diaspora of people who worked and lived together.” Council Member Van Bramer was joined by Congressman Joe Crowley, Ian McGowan, Executive Director of the Winged Fist Organization, members of the Emerald Society and ancestors of the early-20th-century I-AAC athletes.

Click here to read the amazing history of The Winged Fists.

One Response to “The Naming of Winged Fist Way”

  1. Bob Wilson says:

    Using the name and logo ‘Winged Fist’ is no longer an attractive proposition, it sends out the wrong signals and will drive away members your association should welcome. It might also attract the type of unwanted fringe member whose attracted by the subtle hint of violence and the comradeship gang or mob violence conjures up. Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, put the block on going down that winged-fist road. So did the 1968 Black Power movement. In today’s culture those who brandish a clenched fist logo are seen as passive promoters of violence and disorder, with the clenched fist logo seen as unruly and divisive. In a nutshell this is why the five Olympic interlocking rings rule the roost, so why not use 3 or 4 interlocking green circles as your symbol? Bob Wilson, England,

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