Black Jack with CD: The Ballad of Jack Johnson

Overview

Born as Arthur John Johnson in the southern state of Texas, Jack Johnson was one of the most renowned boxers of the twentieth century. Through hard work and persistence, he climbed the ranks, taking a swing and a jab and eventually busting the color barrier. As the first black man to win the Heavyweight Championship, there was more than a title on the line.

 

Published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this history-making bout (July 4, 1910). This ...

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Overview

Born as Arthur John Johnson in the southern state of Texas, Jack Johnson was one of the most renowned boxers of the twentieth century. Through hard work and persistence, he climbed the ranks, taking a swing and a jab and eventually busting the color barrier. As the first black man to win the Heavyweight Championship, there was more than a title on the line.

 

Published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this history-making bout (July 4, 1910). This is an extraordinary marriage of poetry, fabulous collage artwork, and a splendid achievement in its own right.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1–5—In 1910, Jack Johnson became the first black heavyweight champion of the world, predating Joe Lewis. To achieve that status, he had to cross a color line that didn't allow white and black boxers in the same ring, making it impossible for him to challenge the current white champion. The story is told in Charles R. Smith's rhythmic, rhyming, pounding text (Roaring Brook Press, 2010). Listeners learn of his birth to former slaves, his drive to follow his dream, and how he shunned the social conventions of the time. The story concludes with the highlight of his big win. An end note provides additional information about Johnson's life during and after this event. Listeners can peruse Shane W. Evans' bold, angular illustrations as they listen to Dion Graham's rich, expressive narration. Some background music and sound effects enhance the telling. This well-written, beautifully performed production would make a good listening center for Black History Month, providing information about a lesser-known African American who had to fight both figuratively and literally to achieve his dream.—Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781430109747
  • Publisher: Live Oak Media (NY)
  • Publication date: 5/28/2011
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 14.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

CHARLES SMITH JR. is a celebrated author, poet, and photographer. He has created more than twenty books, including Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali, a 2008 Corretta Scott King Honor Book and a 2008 Norman Sugarman Best Biography Honor Book and Chameleon, his first novel for young adults. He currently lives in Poughkeepsie, New York with his wife Gillian and three kids, Sabine, Adrian and Sebastian.

SHANE EVANS has illustrated numerous books for children, including the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner Shanna's Ballerina Show. He attributes much of his influence to his travels to Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and much of the United States. He is a firm believer in education and creative development for all people.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Boxing the Color Line.

    Simple, clear, and detailed illustrations with an informative storyline make this picture book, by Charles R. Smith, Jr. and illustrations by Shane W. Evans, a good choice for read-aloud story time for youth ages five and older. Second graders and older could also read this as a silent sustained reading assignment or for multi-cultural studies.

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