Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson battled his way out of obscurity and poverty in the Jim Crow South to win the title of heavyweight champion of the world. At a time when whites ran everything in America, he took orders from no one and resolved to live as if co ...more
Jack Johnson was all of these men rolled into one.
The first b ...more
Jack Johnson had defeated all the great Black fighte ...more
Jack Johnson had a life that could have been a work of fiction. On second thoughts, if it had been written as fiction, it would probably seem so far-fetched as to render it unbelievable. In a world where everything was stacked against black people, and they weren't given the chance to fight ...more
The subject is very interesting...the book is a bore.
The book is not only bad...it reads like a tale that several people are telling as they sit on a porch and reflect on a subject which occurred many years ago.
Also practically every page is footnoted whi ...more
Sure wish American audiences at large could read about his largely unknown 1911 musings to a French sports magazine, including candid observations on racism likely never intended for American readers. The comments have been translated to English in their entirety for the first time. The result, "My Life & Battles." 127-pages. But you'll have to hope train, plain or automobile to get to ...more
Jack Johnson was the boxing world heavyweight ch ...more
The prejudice of the times is shown in all its ugliness.
A bit heavy going at times and could maybe have benefitted from some editing in parts just to speed things up.
An exhaustive comprehensive book, all worth any boxing fans time.
It's remarkable that there hasn't been a major motion picture about this equally fascinating sports figure. Joh ...more
Ward tells the story of Johnson's life in a straightforward linear narrative. Unforgivable Blackness's strengths lie in its exposure of racism in the boxing world - I shook my head at the racial stereotyping sports writers of the time employed - and in its recounting of the persecution Johnson ...more
The book explains in very good detail Johnson's life, how he got into boxing and how his personality exploded onto the world stage. Johnson was a crafty, sleek ...more
I was interested to learn that Johnson was arrested for violating the white slave act (Mann Act), for transporting a white woman over s ...more
Jack Johnson spent years looking for an opportunity to reach the peak of his sport, as a succession of white heavyweights refused to step into the ring with him because of the colour of his skin.
Once he finally gained the title, his approach to life, particularly his relationships with white wom ...more
Johnson's unforgivable sins were a: pummeling white fighters in the ring, and b: cavorting with white women outside the ring. But he was the rarest of men who simply lived his life (albeit not simply) without regard for how others saw him.
At the time I read it, Terrell Owens was in the news for doing something stupid, and the contrast between the perception and tolerance for two similar men in the span of 100 years was a fas ...more
Jack Johnson's colorful personality and his impact on American racial politics make him a fascinating topic for a biography. Critics were interested in this account of his extraordinary life, but many had complaints. Foremost among these was Ward's failure to provide historical analysis and context. Unforgivable Blackness doesn't ask any probing questions about Johnson's influence or his legacy; even though Ward did his research, those seeking an in-depth examination of his life will be disappoi...more
I'm glad I picked this book up randomly on a trip in to borders after reading the back cover because I now know about the ...more
It is a biography of Jack Johnson, the first African-American Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World and it is a documentary about injustice, inequality and racism back in Jim Crow damned era.
How white America went after him and changed LAWS just to get this strong black man who was un ...more
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He was an editor of American Heritage magazine early in his career. He wrote the television mini-series The Civil War with its director Ken Burns and has collaborated with Burns on every documentary he has made since, including Jazz and Baseball. ...more