Jack Johnson: First African American Heavyweight Boxer

1469 WordsMar 4, 20176 Pages
Jack Johnson: First African American Heavyweight Boxer There are so many influential people that left their mark on this world. People that changed how we look at each other as individuals. These types of people changed things permanently, and gave others the confidence they needed to step out and let their light shine no matter what those around them thought. Because years ago African Americans were restricted and judged to an extreme that most were afraid to stand up for themselves. This goes all the way back to Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King Jr. They all stood for their rights; however, one specific person interested me. This man’s name is John Arthur Johnson (Jack…show more content…
He finally got his wish when he went for the opportunity to earn the heavyweight title from Tommy Burns. The two fought only because promoters promised Burns a large quantity of money.The two fought, and Jack was pronounced winner outside of Australia when the police ended the entire ordeal because of the fact it was a black boxing a white. “In 1903 he became the unofficial “Negro heavyweight champion,” and he had set his sights on the world title” (Kaplan 4). That was when the first African American heavyweight boxer was plastered in the newspaper. In the 1900s African Americans rights weren’t publicly noticed unless they committed a crime or were ‘lynched.’ “Black people during the early 20th century were hardly the subject of news in the white press unless they were the perpetrators of crime or had been lynched (usually for a crime, real or imaginary)”(Early 14). Whites felt that blacks didn’t deserve to be in the public’s eye or felt they weren’t high enough in the social hierarchy. Although Jack Johnson proved everyone completely wrong; in fact, he was in front of the camera more than black men put together. He was mostly written about in black newspapers, but on more important topics he was written about in white newspapers. With all eyes on him for so long people sought out to see him destroyed. Both blacks and whites began to hate him for the simple fact he was higher financially. The black race felt he was losing his touch with their
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