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Community Advocacy Organization

A Look In The Mirror - Jack Johnson (1878 - 1946) Boxing Champion


In 1897, Jack Johnson became the first black heavyweight boxing champion. He was born in Galveston, Texas, and started his career in 1897. Despite being an underdog in a sport that heavily favored white athletes, he eventually rose to fame by defeating some of the best fighters of his time.


In 1908, boxer Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns to become the first black heavyweight boxing champion. His victory challenged the notion that African-Americans were inferior to white individuals, and it shattered the notion that they were inferior to them. However, despite his victory, Johnson was subjected to various forms of discrimination and harassment.


His career was marked by various controversies and political activism. During this period, he openly defied the social conventions of the time by getting married and dating white women, which were considered taboo at that time. He also publicly challenged white authority figures.

Due to his outspoken nature, Johnson was frequently targeted by discrimination and persecution. He was also charged with violating a law that prohibited the transport of women across state lines.


Johnson was a notable figure in American history due to his contributions to boxing and for his efforts in fighting against racial prejudice and segregation. His legacy continues to motivate and empower African-Americans.

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