Jack Johnson Racism

Improved Essays
“Fighting Racism” Jack Johnson is considered as one of the greatest boxers of all time. Jack, who was actually born by the name of John Johnson, grew up in a time when African Americans did not have many rights. Johnson had to fight for any opportunity or almost anything he ever wanted because of racial discrimination. He was never one to be controlled by the social norms of the time; this made him a perfect fit to become a boxer. Jack Johnson had the most influence on the views of racism than any other professional sports player in history. Johnson’s early life greatly affected who he became and the actions he took later in life. He was never handed anything, even at a young age he had to fight for what he wanted. He was born in Galveston, …show more content…
He loved to taunt his opponents and would try to make them mad, which it would. He loved taunting his opponents because he knew he could always beat the person he was facing in that boxing ring. Johnson never really had any problems in the ring, the problems he had were outside the ring. Many white fighters would not fight him and it didn’t end well for the ones that did. He traveled across the country fighting white boxers and taunted them as he would win with nearly no effort. As he started winning fights he became known as the Galveston Giant. Although, he was winning almost all of these small fights, that’s not what he was aiming for. Johnson wanted to win the world heavyweight title, which of course was held by a white man: Jim Jeffries. Jeffries refused to fight him and he retired undefeated. Finally, after many small fights that meant almost nothing to Johnson, he had his chance at the title. He would fight the champion at the time: Tommy Burns-who only fought Johnson because he was offered thirty thousand dollars whether he won or lost. Johnson won this fight in fourteen rounds. Actually, it was not much different from any of his other fights, as in it came pretty easy to him to beat the champion. Jack Johnson was the new heavyweight champion of the world. Although, Johnson was on top of the boxing world, his win sparked many racial issues. After the fight, many people were furious …show more content…
Johnson dealt with racism at an early age in his life up until his death in 1946. Many white boxers would not fight him because they did not want a black man beating them, so they would just refuse to fight. They thought that an African American man did not deserve to be able to fight the superior white man. Johnson always fought for equality in the sports world because he was taught that the white man was no better than he was no matter what people told him. Most African Americans loved watching Johnson beat almost every white man he ever fought with such ease. Although, not all African Americans supported what Johnson was doing in the boxing world. Once Johnson became the champion, for several years, he refused to fight any black opponent. He was criticized for this because African Americans did not agree with what he was doing. He worked his way to the top of the boxing world fighting against racism the whole way but then would not give black fighters the chance to fight him. Joe Jeanette, one of the black heavyweights, accused Johnson saying that “Jack forgot about his old friends after he became champion and drew the color line against his own

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