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Jack Johnson, First African American Boxer, Racial Oppression

571 words - 3 pages

During the reign of Jack Johnson over the heavyweight division of boxing, there was a definite prescribed role and persona into which African-Americans were supposed to fit themselves. This role and persona was to be inferior to the whites. African Americans were not suppose to be heroes or to be champions of any sports. Whites were supposed to be the greatest in everything. No African-American was supposed to take a title away from a white man. But Jack Johnson did and that role and persona changed in the year 1910 when he took the title of heavyweight champion and the first black and Texan to win the heavyweight boxing championship in the world.Jack Johnson defied this role in many ways. He didn't stop boxing ...view middle of the document...

Johnson kept strong and after prison he kept on boxing but only for exhibition fights.Some consequences for Johnson's defiance were riots, prison and debates. Even newspaper editorials were warning Johnson and the black community not to get too proud. They then passed an act banning the interstate transport of fight films because they feared all of Johnson's victories and though that will start more disputes.In this century I believe there are still prescribed roles that African-Americans and other groups such as women, are supposed to play today. I believe that a lot of other races expect African-Americans to still be inferior and to not have any uprising in life. Racism is also still around. No matter what race you are everyone faces consequences. Being a woman also has its role in society. Women are supposed to be attractive and be the caretaker while men make the money and are strong and capable of doing pretty much anything, but women have been showing more independence especially in the business world.People are defying these roles today by not following how society places them in the real world. Woman, especially are dominating the business world and are just housewives. By doing your own thing and not showing society that you are just a stereotype shows defiance of your persona. Being a follower of society's definition of you doesn't show any defiance of your role in this society.Jack Johnson's accomplishments throughout his boxing career helped African-American's to not have such an inferior role in this society today. A lot of African-American's are holding many titles now and are dominating in sports. Even though Johnson was beat by Jesse Willard he still remains a champion.

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