Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

Unforgivable Blackness The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson He was the first black heavyweight champion in history the most celebrated and most reviled African American of his age In Unforgivable Blackness the prizewinning biographer Geoffrey C Ward brings t

  • Title: Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson
  • Author: Geoffrey C. Ward
  • ISBN: 9780375710049
  • Page: 283
  • Format: Paperback
  • He was the first black heavyweight champion in history, the most celebrated and most reviled African American of his age In Unforgivable Blackness, the prizewinning biographer Geoffrey C Ward brings to vivid life the real Jack Johnson, a figure far complex and compelling than the newspaper headlines he inspired could ever convey Johnson battled his way from obscuHe was the first black heavyweight champion in history, the most celebrated and most reviled African American of his age In Unforgivable Blackness, the prizewinning biographer Geoffrey C Ward brings to vivid life the real Jack Johnson, a figure far complex and compelling than the newspaper headlines he inspired could ever convey Johnson battled his way from obscurity to the top of the heavyweight ranks and in 1908 won the greatest prize in American sports one that had always been the private preserve of white boxers At a time when whites ran everything in America, he took orders from no one and resolved to live as if color did not exist While most blacks struggled just to survive, he reveled in his riches and his fame And at a time when the mere suspicion that a black man had flirted with a white woman could cost him his life, he insisted on sleeping with whomever he pleased, and married three Because he did so the federal government set out to destroy him, and he was forced to endure a year of prison and seven years of exile Ward points out that to most whites and to some African Americans as well he was seen as a perpetual threat profligate, arrogant, amoral, a dark menace, and a danger to the natural order of things Unforgivable Blackness is the first full scale biography of Johnson in than twenty years Accompanied by than fifty photographs and drawing on a wealth of new material including Johnson s never before published prison memoir it restores Jack Johnson to his rightful place in the pantheon of American individualists.

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      Published :2019-09-06T08:51:37+00:00

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    I've often told the story of how, during the years my parents had split and I lived with my mom, she didn't raise me. She loved me, protected me, provided for me, but didn't raise me; Michael Jordan, Harold Washington (Chicago's first black mayor), Arthur Fonzarelli and Hulk Hogan raised me. As a young boy, I was wildly into my heroes, my idolsese men I looked to for "how to be a man" when my father wasn't immediately available. Jack Johnson was all of these men rolled into one. The first black [...]

    Jack Johnson´s story is fascinating - he was hero and anti-hero in one lifetime. An example to his people and the world of how to live and of how not to live. He was a man who changed the world - or America at least - and who became one of the most hated public figures in the same nation.Johnson always compared himself to Napoleon in the way he managed to drag himself up from relatively obscure beginnings to what he considered the top of the world - in this case, the World Heavyweight Boxing Ch [...]

    Jack Johnson was one of the early twentieth century’s most controversial figures. He was the first black man to attain the world heavyweight championship title, an honor that had been the exclusive domain of white boxers since the sport began. His flashy personality, considerable wealth, and refusal to let his race limit his career and marital prospects belied the traditional concept of the servile, grovelling black. When Johnson beat up white men in the ring and consorted with white women in [...]

    This book is not only about the first Black Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jack Johnson but about racism in the early 20th Century. Jack Johnson was a large, fast quick and powerful puncher whose skill at avoiding punches is still to this day legendary. He won the Colored heavyweight Championship. That was an important championship but still only ranked second to the World Heavy Weight Championship that was held in 1910 by the great Jim Jeffries. Jack Johnson had defeated all the great Black fighte [...]

    Writing and fighting might seem unlikely bedfellows, but boxing often produces great literature - and this book is a prime example of that. It's partly down to the subject-matter and partly down to the author.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 [...]

    I grew up knowing that Johnson had been a dapper man because anything sharp or tight or natty was defined as such by its likeness to "Jack Johnson's hatband." My dad is a storehouse of old southern sayings; I feel ashamed of my teenage eye-rollings.

    A great book about a great man- the first black heavyweight champion of the world- a fascinating, erudite modern man. It makes no difference if you are interested in boxing-Goeffrey Ward gives a highly detailed account of society, sports, politics and good 'ol American pre-civil rights prejudice. Minus the lynchings, reminds us how little has changed today in backwoods white vs. black America (except then the hate was publicly spewed in shocking daily headlines). Because of the champion title of [...]

    As I read over the other reviews, I find that they are mostly about not wanting to be offensive because the book is about the first black heavyweight champion of boxing. The problem is these reviews are aimed at the subject rather than the book.The subject is very interestinge book is a bore.The book is not only bad 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 which forces [...]

    Boxer Jack Johnson's 1914 memoir MES COMBATS (My Fights) appears at Harvard University's Widener Library.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 th [...]

    In the introduction to his biography of Jack Johnson, Geoffrey C. Ward indicates that his primary source was newspaper articles. And indeed, this biography reads much like a very long newspaper account of the life of Jack Johnson. This isn't good or bad, but an apt description of what it is like reading this biography. In fact, Ward has done a commendable job in weaving what he had to work with into a very readable, informative, and enjoyable work.Jack Johnson was the boxing world heavyweight ch [...]

    Jack Johnson is one of the great Self-created characters of American History. The things he did and said are the stuff of legend, and would be remarkable regardless of his race. The fact that he did these things as a black man in a time when lynchings were routine, and segregation was the norm, is incredible. The Comparison to Muhammad Ali is often made, and perhaps rightfully so, however it should not be overlooked that Johnson built HIS eccentric legend without an entourage, without television [...]

    This is a biography of Jack Johnson (the boxer) and it is a really good read. It is a tragic story, but is very reflective of the spirit it took for African-Americans to succeed in anything at that time. Although he eventually was his own downfall, you can see the chain of events that led to his demise. One thing I admired about him was that he reveled in his heritage and loved what and who he was. He never apologized for being black, which was the custom in those days, and he never tried to dow [...]

    Jack Johnson was a fascinating man inside and outside of the ring and this book was very well researched and shed light on a man that inspired many athletes in later generations. He was outspoken, he was confident bordering on arrogant and he wanted what was his - to fight for the heavyweight championship of the world at a time when white fighters and audiences were against such a thing. Such an athlete is commonplace today, not so much at the start of the 20th century in a deeply racist society [...]

    a great read and a great man who overcame a lot to become champion of the world in a time when white people treatment of black people was just terrible abusing them and thinking they are not as good as white people and beneath Johnson did not help dating white women which was frowned apon and could of got him killed now days mix race relationships are common but he answered to no man and did it his way including his downfall

    Before Muhammad Ali, there was Jack Johnson. Their lives share remarkable similarities: a Black boxer famed for his skill in the ring, loathed by Whites for his refusal to bow to their will, persecuted by the government on trumped up charges designed to thinly veil their racist motivation. Throughout both his rise and fall, you see his indomitable spirit and faith in his right to exist.It's remarkable that there hasn't been a major motion picture about this equally fascinating sports figure. Joh [...]

    "Unforgivable Blackness" by Geoffrey Ward is one of the best books ever written on the subject of boxing. It follows the rise and fall of Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion in boxing. Ward situates Johnson both within the era of his time as well as the greater scope of the American landscape. Johnson's triumphs and flaws are equally highlighted. Like many great athletes (in particular those in combat), Johnson loved the fast life - cars, women, booze, and media attention. One of [...]

    "Unforgivable Blackness" by Geoffrey Ward is one of the best books ever written on the subject of boxing. It follows the rise and fall of Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion in boxing. Ward situates Johnson both within the era of his time as well as the greater scope of the American landscape. Johnson's triumphs and flaws are equally highlighted. Like many great athletes (in particular those in combat), Johnson loved the fast life - cars, women, booze, and media attention. One of [...]

    Once upon a time, before Ron Artest, Latrell Sprewell, and Allen Iverson started undoing the legacy of NBA saints like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, before the Kobe trial and the O.J. trial and the Tyson trial, before Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised Black Power fists at the 1968 Olympics, and before Muhammad Ali refused to be drafted, there was one original Controversial Black Athlete. Like so many others, his personal life spawned as many newspaper headlines as his professional accompli [...]

    The first black heavyweight champion of the world was, for a time, the most hated man in America, drawing the color line into sharp contrast. The story of Jack Johnson is a complicated, stark one filed with contradictions and easy to hate and hard to love men and women. Overall, its the story of Jack Johnson and the way he lived his life.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 [...]

    "Unforgivable Blackness" by Geoffrey C. Ward, a biography on the great and controversial African-American boxer Jack Johnson, gives me mixed feelings. My ambivalence stems from the research vs. the written word. Few biographies, of sports figures or otherwise, are as well studied or chronicled as Ward's work on Johnson. A lot of the information, in chunks, felt incidental however. The lead up to some of Johnson's ringside bouts, especially those of lesser consequence, took up pages upon pages. W [...]

    I grew up in an era when Black men - especially Muhammad Ali - dominated heavyweight boxing. Reading about Jack Johnson's battle to even get a fight against a white opponent, then, was an education for me. 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 [...]

    Unforgivable Blackness is the story of Jack Johnson, the first black Heavyweight champion of the world. And while boxing is the reason this book exists, the societal and cultural aspect of Jack Johnson's impact on the world is the real story. Johnson saw no reason he shouldn't do whatever he wanted, like anyone else, regardless of his color. Spending large sums of money, driving fast cars, or even seeing/dating/marrying white women, Johnson did it all, in the face of a society that told him he c [...]

    This is a fascinating account of Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion. As a Chicagoan who's read a little bit about our city's history, I was especially drawn to the passages describing Johnson's domestic life (such as it was), the home where he put up his mother, and the club he opened in the city's red-light district, the Levee. I was interested to learn that Johnson was arrested for violating the white slave act (Mann Act), for transporting a white woman over s [...]

    Racial politics in turn of the 20th Century America and a supremely talented, cocksure, black heavyweight boxer who refused to play by the rules of society is a mixture that was never going to work well.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 [...]

    It's a very well reached book but found it a little frustrating .trated in the time in took Jack to get a title shot & cowardly colour line ( no fault of Author! )but also frustrating in Jacks life is so interesting and colourful yet I found this book a slog to read . Just didn't do it for me .

    Simply eye opening look at racism in America through the eyes of sports.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 [...]

    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 [...]

    I know it's tough to top Nick Tosches, but this bio's refusal to do what Nick always does -- get inside the minds of everyone involved and try to think through their gonzo acts and decisions -- makes for a very dry read. As a thoroughly researched just-the-facts bio, this is an interesting and useful read, but there's just so much I still don't understand. I mean, really, how did such a sexually prolific guy end up with no children, acknowledged or otherwise? And what worm turned in Jim Jeffries [...]

    Reading this biography made me wonder what magnitude of celebrity Jack Johnson would have been if he were a heavyweight in today's day an era. His brash and confident personality was vilified because of his skin color but today his individualism would be celebrated. His ability to look at society and life beyond the black and white of that era was met with tons of opposition.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 [...]

    I picked this up because I knew that a bomb used in WWI was named after him, and wanted to know who could inspire that kind of admiration. This is a remarkably deep and wide-ranging biography of Jack Johnson, the man for whom -- I should says "against whom!" -- the boxing world created the term "The Great White Hope." Talks about the temper of the times, how Jack Johnson managed to become the world's heavyweight boxing champion in a time when blacks were not even allowed to compete for that titl [...]

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