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by Geoffrey C. Ward

Download Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson fb2, epub

ISBN: 0375710043
Author: Geoffrey C. Ward
Language: English
Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (January 3, 2006)
Pages: 546
Category: Biographies
Subcategory: Outdoors
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 467
Size Fb2: 1115 kb
Size ePub: 1733 kb
Size Djvu: 1857 kb
Other formats: lit lrf rtf azw


Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson is a documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Geoffrey C. Ward (2004).

Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson is a documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Geoffrey C. In Burns' signature style the 220-minute film serves as a biography of Jack Johnson, the first African-American Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World, as well as a documentary of racism and social inequality during the Jim Crow era against which Jack Johnson lived in defiant opposition.

Geoffrey Ward’s Unforgivable Blackness is a stunning exploration in the unbelievable bigotry of whites in. .

Geoffrey Ward’s Unforgivable Blackness is a stunning exploration in the unbelievable bigotry of whites in ury America. David Levering Lewis, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of the two-volume biography of W. E. B. Du Bois. In "Unforgivable Blackness, the prizewinning biographer Geoffrey C. Ward brings to vivid life the real Jack Johnson, a figure far more 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.

Unforgivable Blackness book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson as Want to Read: Want to Read saving. He was the first black heavyweight champion in history, the. Start by marking Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

UNFORGIVABLE BLACKNESS The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson. 492 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. ON a Saturday night in August 1909, Booker T. Washington was about to lecture 2,000 distinguished black citizens in Chicago when a commotion arose at the back of the hall. Amid shouts and applause, another man had entered the room, and as he made his way forward, the illustrious speaker had to wait. Only one black man in America could have upstaged the head of the Tuskegee Institute, because only one black man in America was more famous, and perhaps more popular

With Jack Johnson, Keith David, Samuel L. Jackson, Adam Arkin. Robinson's rise from humble beginnings to became an American hero and pivotal figure in American history are detailed.

With Jack Johnson, Keith David, Samuel L. The story of Jack Johnson, the first African-American Heavyweight boxing champion.

He is the author or co-author of 18 books, including five companion books to the documentaries he has written. He is the winner of five Emmy Awards. Jazz is a 2001 television documentary miniseries, directed by Ken Burns.

Unforgivable Blackness. The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson. Jack was reading in the Texas history book about great men, and he turns around to me and he allowed as how he was going to be a great man himself some one of these days

Unforgivable Blackness. Your purchase helps support NPR programming. Jack was reading in the Texas history book about great men, and he turns around to me and he allowed as how he was going to be a great man himself some one of these days. And I says, Shucks, boy, what you talking about? What you think you’re going to be-president?

FROM THE PUBLISHER "He was the first black heavyweight champion in history, the most celebrated - and most reviled - African American of his age. In Unforgivable Blackness.

FROM THE PUBLISHER "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 more complex and compelling than the newspaper headlines he inspired could ever convey

Acclaim for Geoffrey C. Ward’s

Chapter one. The pure-blooded american. Acclaim for Geoffrey C. Ward’s. With immense skill, Geoffrey Ward has not only brought Jack Johnson back to life but has provided a telling window onto what it was like to be a great black athlete in ury America. Doris Kearns Goodwin. Geoffrey Ward’s Unforgivable Blackness is a stunning exploration of the unbelievable bigotry of whites in ury America.

In this vivid biography Geoffrey C. Ward brings back to life the most celebrated — and the most reviled — African American of his age. 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 color did not exist. While most blacks struggled simply to exist, he reveled in his riches and his fame, sleeping with whomever he pleased, to the consternation and anger of much of white America. Because he did so the federal government set out to destroy him, and he was forced to endure prison and seven years of exile. This definitive biography portrays Jack Johnson as he really was--a battler against the bigotry of his era and the embodiment of American individualism.

Comments:

SlingFire
I thought overall it was excellent. It provided a rich panorama of a very complex man's life. And it was not a hagiography but warts and all. Also, the color material surrounding the places he went, people he knew and time he lived in was excellent. Hanging over all of it was the effects that the overbearing racism, then overt, had upon him was paramount. It infected every aspect of his life, including his own family relationships. His courage and insistence on living life to its fullest were remarkable. His lack of commitment to any relationship was disturbing as was his basic dishonesty in many aspects of his life.

I have two quibbles. First, near the end of the book he made reference to a "remarkable" middleweight fighter he stated fought at least 163 times, losing only 10 in his career - Jack Blackburn. No reference is given for the stat. I was surprised I had never heard of him and checked box-rec.com, where, though he had a long career, and seemed to lose, until later on in his career, mostly to the best, he had nowhere near as good a record as stated - 168 fights, which is close, but 25 losses, and numerous draws. Compare him with Joe Gans, who he lost to more than once. He had almost 200 fights and far fewer losses. In any event, which record is correct - his or box-recs, which provides the result of each fight? Though any author can make a mistake, this was the only one I looked up and it appeared it was at least significantly off. It did make me wonder about his other claims.

However, I'm not suggesting that the book is filled with flaws either. The other problem I had with it may not be the authors fault, but the same themes over and over again began to bore me towards the end.

Overall, though, it was entertaining and I thought it added to my knowledge and presented Johnson in a much fairer light than he usually is.
Ramsey`s
What a fantastic biography - one of the most interesting I've ever read. You get a vivid picture of Jack Johnson - the man, the athlete, and the inimitable personality. Geoffrey Ward paints an equally vivid (and disturbing) picture of early 20th century America, with the scourge of racism running deep in the national character. Jack Johnson was an exceptionally brave and proud person who fought to be his own man, refusing to allow others to dictate his behaviors and life choices. It's too bad he made his statement during an era in which he could expect little support from either race. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have met Jack Johnson through this amazing biography. He's now one of my heroes.
Elastic Skunk
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 champion from 1908-1915. And he was the first black heavyweight champion, which dominates the story of his life inside the ring and out. Johnson became heavyweight champion at a time when boxing was just barely out of the bare knuckle era, and while more organized as a sport, was still a rough and tumble and often illegal activity. Boxing, even as it is today, was often surround by unsavory characters. During that era throwing fights for money or to set up matches wasn't uncommon. Johnson learned his craft literally starting from the bottom up in local tough man or boxing contests and his skills eventually lead him to the top of his sport.

What make Johnson's story so interesting are two things - race and his profligate lifestyle. Race played a key role in his life even though he himself ignored race and didn't let it interfere with how he behaved or what he did. He often sported white women on his arm and eventually married a white woman, and did not defer to anyone, black or white. This made him an even more incendiary figure for the race conscious press and America at the time. Many white heavyweights wouldn't fight Johnson - most notably Jim Jefferies who held the title at a time when Johnson was the obvious deserving opponent for a shot at the champion. Eventually Jefferies retired and "conferred" his title on Tommy Burns, a bulked up white middleweight. Johnson chased after Burns and through the pressure of the press he eventually landed his title shot and dominated his lesser opponent, winning the heavyweight championship of the world.

This eventually lead to one of the most pivotal heavyweight boxing matches in history - and certainly the most pivotal fight of Johnson's career - a match with former heavyweight champion Jim Jefferies. Jefferies was obviously reluctant to come out of retirement to fight the new champion but pressure from friends and many in the press and boxing world, who didn't want to see a black man hold the championship, more or less forced his hand. The fight eventually took place on July 4, 1910 in Reno, New Mexico. Thousands were in attendance but millions throughout the country waited for the result. Johnson dominated Jefferies through much of the fight, eventually knocking him out in the 15th round. Johnson's win legitimized his title as heavyweight champion. Unfortunately, it also touched off violence against blacks throughout the country.

Jefferies utter defeat also lead to a search for a "great white hope" to defeat Johnson. Eventually, Johnson was beaten by a huge but less skilled Jess Willard in Havana, Cuba on April 5, 1915. Johnson probably lost as much because of age, he was around 37 at the time, and the rather unfortunate events in is life from the time of the Jefferies victory to his match against Willard in Cuba. During that time he appears to have spent most of his money, married a white woman who eventually committed suicide, and married another white woman against the violent protests of her family. This led, in a rather convoluted way, to his fleeing the country with his new wife in tow after being brought up on charges of violating the Mann Act. During all this time, and the only reason to mention the ethnicity of his wives, was the vilification Johnson received in the press across America and the hatred he engendered among some, including those in law enforcement, who wanted to bring him down. Thus, Johnson had to go through convoluted negotiations and travel arrangements to even defend his title again Willard in Cuba. Eventually, Johnson decided to come back to America but had to face a jail sentence, which he served. After getting out of jail, broke because he spent most of his money, he mostly earned a living through boxing exhibitions and similar activities.

Johnson's lifestyle some would call raucous. He made a lot of money for his era and he spent it freely on clothes, cars, and the women he kept as companions some of which were prostitutes or former prostitutes. One can look up to Johnson for not letting racism stand in the way of living his life the way he wanted to live it and kowtowing to no one. One could also look askance as his philandering, spendthrift way of life, but who are we to really judge? Undoubtedly Johnson brought some of his problems on himself. Also undoubtedly he was treated unfairly because of the era in which he lived in. Had Johnson lived today he might get some negative press, but more likely he would have a legion of fans who willing to overlook some of the things he did in his private life.

Cars were relatively new invention in early 1900's and Johnson loved cars and bought several of them. He often liked to drive fast. This too eventually caught up with him as, while speeding, he swerved to miss a truck and rammed his car into a tree. He died in 1946 after an adventurous 68 years.

Note this book is the companion to Ken Burn's documentary of the life of Jack Johnson using the same title. I have not viewed the documentary yet but plan to.

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