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Black Jack Johnson

May 20th, 2009 by | Tags: ,

Jack Johnson was the son of two slaves and one of the greatest boxers who ever lived. He entered a sport that had previously been the province of white males and dominated. It’s probably fair to say that he was one of the first high-profile black athletes. He had endorsement deals, interviews, and was probably even the originator of black athletes marrying white chicks (no oj simpson). He may have been a little more Mike Tyson than Muhammad Ali, but the man’s skills were undeniable. You couldn’t ignore him if you wanted to.

A lot of people probably wanted to ignore him. Jack was loud, brash, and could lean almost anybody who stepped into the ring. He was a demolisher, and he’s the reason why the idea of a “Great White Hope” exists. His wins were seen as a genuine insult to many people of the time, to the point that James Jeffries came out of retirement for the express purpose of putting him down to show that whites were better than blacks. Spoiler: Jeffries lost in the 15th.

Jack Johnson was a monster, and an inspiration to many. The relationship between blacks and sports has often been a contentious one, but it’s also one that’s given many a kid hope for the future. Heroes are heroes, and if you see someone like you doing something amazing, that sticks with you.

Why am I talking about this? A friend pointed me to a Miles Davis album last night, “A Tribute to Jack Johnson.” Two tracks, 50 minutes of music. I figured I’d hop on AmazonMP3 and buy it. Once I got there, I found a surprise. Click this picture.

jackjohnson

Ten bucks for the album!? But, look closer. Each track costs .99. You can get 50 minutes of good jazz for a buck ninety-eight. That’s two dollars. That’s not even lunch money, you probably spend more than that on coffee.

So order A Tribute To Jack Johnson and find me somebody who wants to draw, or has drawn, a comic about black boxers.

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13 comments to “Black Jack Johnson”

  1. Do you want to write a comic about black boxers?


  2. @Jaap!: Nah, I’d be content with just reading one.


  3. In that case I can’t do a thing for you, sorry


  4. You offering to draw one?


  5. Kind of


  6. Hit me with an email, 4thletter@gmail.com, with what you’ve got in mind.


  7. http://ippo.wikia.com/wiki/Black_Boxer
    this doesn’t count I guess, but there’s
    http://www.4thletter.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/ali04.jpg


  8. actually, a comic about a boxer who has to solve the murder of someone [his wife? his opponent? someone he just happened to hear screaming, and was the only one who went to look?] and deal with corrupt cops and shady mob guys would be an awesome comic.
    I can see it now: Yeshua ‘Othello’ Martin, Black Eye [ya know, as opposed to private eye, and hes a boxer. of course investigators are also called private dicks, so maybe… actually black eye is fine.]


  9. I love boxing, so this post was a treat. I never even heard of this guy, and I thought I had a good knowledge of early boxers.


  10. Why only black boxers? Black speedos just not good enough for you?


  11. Hey, awesome find, Mr. Brothers!


  12. @A.o.D.: Pfft, I’d prefer black boxer briefs, but you take what you can get!

    @Charles Cooper: No problem!


  13. @david brothers: Email sent :)