Posted by admin on November 8, 2017 in Articles

The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson Ask someone who was one of the first people to break the color barrier in sports and you’re almost guaranteed that the answer is Jackie Robinson. Yet almost 40 years earlier there was a black boxer by the name of Jack Johnson, also known as John Arthur Johnson. Most would argue that he was the best heavyweight boxer of his time, having a career record of 79 wins and 8 losses, and being the first black to be the Heavyweight champion of the World. (Jack Johnson (boxer), October 9th, 2006.) Not only was this impressive, but he had to deal with racism and black oppression.
Johnson was born in Galveston, Texas, in 1878. Both of his parents were former slaves and worked blue collar jobs to make ends meet for their six children. (Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson. January 2005.) Johnson’s first fight was when he was 15, and by the time he was 18 he had already become professional. Shortly after, Johnson received training from a small heavyweight Joe Choynski. During this training, Johnson learned to be a more patient fighter, playing defensively and waiting for his opponent to make a mistake and then capitalizing on it. The media said this was cowardly and devious, but on the other hand, a few years later Jim Corbett, who was white, used the same tactics and was praised to be the cleverest man in boxing. (Jack Johnson (boxer). October 9th, 2006.) This proves the racism against blacks at this time in America. Just because this man was black, he was criticized for his tactics, while a white man using the same methods was praised. Another example of the racism of the time was that black men were allowed to box, but they were not allowed to fight for the Heavyweight Championship of the World, for they were deemed unworthy. (Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson. January 2005.)
The 6 foot 1 ? inches giant of a man finally won his first title when he won a 20 round victory over “Denver” Ed…