African American Project: Jack Johnson (by Chris Otto)
By christopherotto, Updated
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"I could never have whipped Johnson at my best," "I couldn't have hit him. No, I couldn't have reached him in 1,000 years." - Jim Jeffries
“The fight between life and death is to the finish, and death ultimately is the victor. ... I do not deplore the passing of these crude old days.” - Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson, real name being John Johnson, was born in 1878 on March 31st in Galveston, Texas. Unlike his 8 other siblings, Johnson would portray a level of confidence and drive to succeed that would foreshadow his success as a boxer. He would box for $1.25 which turned to $25 which turned to hundreds of dollars until he became the first ever black boxing champion.
Jack Johnson was the first-ever African American to win the heavyweight boxing championship by defeating champion Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia. Johnson also would defeat rival Jim Jeffries in a fight dubbed the "Fight of the Century".
Jack Johnson is an important person in African American history because not only was he the first black person to win the boxing championship, but he is an example of favor in white people rather than both white and black people when he was arrested for violating the Mann Act when brought would bring his girlfriend, a white girl, across state lines before marriage. Overall, Johnson is a big name in boxing and a big name in African American history.
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