Fight of the Century
Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, and the Struggle for Racial Equality
This is a revealing look at the history of race relations in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century portrayed through the lives and times of the first two African-American heavyweight boxing champions, Jack Johnson and Joe Louis. Incorporating extensive research into the black press of the time, the author explores how the public careers and private lives of these two sports figures both define and explain vital national issues from the early 1900s to the late 1940s.
Table of Contents
Introduction: "Many Thousand Gone"; 1. "A Retribution Seeks": White Repression and Black Redemption; 2. "A Tempest of Dispraise": From Black Hope to Black Burden; 3. "Under the White Man's Menace": Divisive Wars at Home and Abroad; 4. "Outcasts Asylumed": Exile's Return and Legacy; 5. "Don't You Fall Now": A New Race Ambassador Emerges; 6. "No Other Dream, No Land But This": Black-Americans and the Enemy Within; 7. "Another World Be Born": In Search of Victory at Home and Abroad; 8. "The Harder They Fall": A Champion's Life and Legend
Thomas R. Hietala is Professor of History at Grinnell College.