Jack Johnson

2001 WordsAug 20, 20119 Pages
During a time when blacks were considered less than equals to whites, Jack Johnson refused to be oppressed by racist America. He was both unafraid and uncompromising. He went wherever he chose, did whatever he wanted, and controversially had sexual relations with whichever race of women he wanted. As a boxer, Johnson went from being an unknown to the first African American heavyweight champion of the world. With little regard for his safety, he destroyed white fighters when blacks were expected to submit to whites. Johnson saw himself as an equal amongst whites; therefore he paid little attention to the chaos he caused throughout his professional career. Jack Johnson was born on March 31, 1878 in Galveston, Texas. He was one of…show more content…
Sports writers wrote about his lifestyle, fine tailored suits, and gold caps on his front teeth. While living as “big shot”, Johnson met a black woman named Mary Austin. She would be introduced as “Mrs. Johnson”, but they were in fact never married. Eventually, Johnson replaced Austin for a white prostitute named Clara Kerr. They moved together in an all-white neighborhood. He was arrested for not paying his bills, but it was later discovered that he was arrested because he was not wanted in an all white neighborhood. Despite several death threats and warnings concerning his relationship with Kerr, Johnson continued living as he pleased. His choices in life put him at odds with Booker T. Washington. Johnson did not agree with Washington’s philosophy of racial separation for the foreseeable future. Johnson chose to avoid racism by acting with people of other races as if racism did not exist. By the end of 1903, the newspapers were calling on Jim Jeffries to fight Johnson for the heavyweight title. Still, Jeffries refused to fight black fighters. In 1905, Jeffries retired after never having fought Jackson. The new champion would be Tommy Burns. As Johnson began chasing Burns around the country for a fight, he began dating yet another white woman named Hattie McClay. He was warned by his manager to be more tactful, but he refused. Over a ten year period, almost 850

More about Jack Johnson

Open Document