Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner

Boxing in the Shadow of the Global Color Line
Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner: Boxing in the Shadow of the Global Color Line. Univ. of California. 2012. c.376p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780520271609. $34.95. SPORTS
OrangeReviewStarHeavyweight champion Jack Johnson (1878–1946) was given to living large, embarrassing white opponents, and consorting with white women at a time when Jim Crow flourished at home and the doctrine of the "white man's burden" was encircling the globe. Therefore, even when he fled the United States after a Mann Act conviction, he couldn't escape racism. He and other wandering African American athletes and entertainers, however, inspired waves of pride among people of color everywhere through their successes in the face of prejudice. Runstedtler (American studies, Univ. of Buffalo) makes Johnson the centerpiece of what is also a study of global black-white relations during his era.
VERDICT A scholarly treatise, this will be passed over by casual boxing fans, but it is a fascinating must-read for students of African American or American studies covering the early 1900s.
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