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.

chapter |9 pages


“Many Thousand Gone”

chapter 1|35 pages

“A Retribution Seeks”

White Repression and Black Redemption

chapter 2|39 pages

“A Tempest of Dispraise”

From Black Hope to Black Burden

chapter 3|42 pages

“Under the White Man’s Menace”

Divisive Wars at Home and Abroad

chapter 4|19 pages

“Outcasts Asylumed”

Exile’s Return and Legacy

chapter 5|43 pages

“Don’t You Fall Now”

A New Race Ambassador Emerges

chapter 6|52 pages

“No Other Dream, No Land But This”

Black Americans and the Enemy Within

chapter 7|52 pages

“Another World Be Born”

In Search of Victory at Home and Abroad

chapter 8|27 pages

“The Harder They Fall”

A Champion’s Life and Legend

chapter |8 pages