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Scholars Day: April 15, 2009

Unanimous Decision: Two African American Boxers and the Complex Racial Pride They Embodied in the Early Twentieth Century

The lives of two African American boxers help to personify the fight against racial apartheid that restricted the lives of all African Americans in the twentieth century. Jack Johnson and Joe Louis boxed in different time periods, but each promoted a spirit of racial pride among African Americans and contributed to the quest for civil rights. This research examines the complex racial pride fostered by these boxers within their time periods and the impact that it had on each of these men in and out of the ring. Finally and most importantly, this research will show how the media played an integral role in the development of this racial pride as well as in the acceptance or rejection of black athletes by the African American population.

Presenter: Willie Watson (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: History
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 1:15 pm (Session III)