From Wrestling Legend to Double Amputee, Kamala Keeps Fighting
November 20, 2014 12:06 PM   Subscribe

The name Jim Harris probably doesn't mean much to many pro wrestling fans, however, most would be very familiar with his alter ego, Kamala. Billed as hailing from Uganda, Kamala, who never spoke, was portrayed as a dangerous, cannibalistic savage. After debuting the Kamala gimmick in Memphis in 1982, his career peaked in the mid-80s when he had a main event level feud with the biggest star of the era, Hulk Hogan. Unfortunately, as detailed in this article from the Bleacher Report, the past few years have been challenging for Harris both medically and financially, but he maintains a positive outlook.

Harris also appeared recently on Steve Austin's podcast.
posted by The Gooch (10 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Kamala is such a troubling figure. The flat-out racist archetype has a long, long history in wrestling, but Harris can hardly be blamed for taking what was pretty much the only opportunity for an uneducated big African-American guy with limited skills on the microphone. I'm glad he's kept his spirits up.

If there's a Hell, Vince McMahon will almost certainly end up there for using up and throwing out so many people over the years.
posted by Etrigan at 1:28 PM on November 20, 2014 [3 favorites]

For some reason this story touched me--hard scrabble, tenacious, self effacing, troubled, exploited, exploiting, denial steeped on denial/avoidance and the subsequent pain and loss and courage. All I know is that I am going to find away to pay part of the cost for those custom made chairs that were ordered but left unpaid and uncollected. Thanks for posting--not something I would ever be likely to read.
posted by rmhsinc at 2:47 PM on November 20, 2014 [3 favorites]

I remember watching Kamala wrestle Hacksaw Jim Duggan on Mid South wrestling as a child. He terrified me.
posted by ColdChef at 3:01 PM on November 20, 2014

It's worth mentioning that Kamala/Harris once recorded a blues album that included a really homophobic call-out of wrestling's most well-known gay man: Pat Patterson.

Push It
posted by Lusy P Hur at 3:30 PM on November 20, 2014

lusy p hur--I am just curious to know why it is important to mention that--I have no interest in professional wrestling, do my best to be an active advocate and supporter for LGBT rights --but lets look at the context in which this person was raised, worked and struggled. Who among us does not have something that might be worth mentioning.
posted by rmhsinc at 3:39 PM on November 20, 2014

This album came out in 2006, well after that sort of thing would have been socially acceptable (but before Patterson himself was publicly out). It's worth mentioning because that article's nothing more than a sympathetic fluff piece on a man that I don't find entirely sympathetic.
posted by Lusy P Hur at 3:51 PM on November 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

OK. I am sometimes surprised how seldom any person, idea or policy ever skates by without full accountability
posted by rmhsinc at 4:37 PM on November 20, 2014

Looks like a gofundme campaign has been started to raise money for him.
posted by orme at 5:08 AM on November 21, 2014

(Please note that Kamala Harris, Attorney General of California, has not recorded any homophobic blues albums.)
posted by mubba at 8:03 AM on November 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

((That we know of.))
posted by Etrigan at 9:29 AM on November 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

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