Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner: Boxing in the Shadow of the Global Color Line

Overview


In his day, Jack Johnson—born in Texas, the son of former slaves—was the most famous black man on the planet. As the first African American World Heavyweight Champion 1908–1915, he publicly challenged white supremacy at home and abroad, enjoying the same audacious lifestyle of conspicuous consumption, masculine bravado, and interracial love wherever he traveled. Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner provides the first in-depth exploration of Johnson’s battles against the color line in places as far-flung as Sydney, ...
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Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner: Boxing in the Shadow of the Global Color Line

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Overview


In his day, Jack Johnson—born in Texas, the son of former slaves—was the most famous black man on the planet. As the first African American World Heavyweight Champion 1908–1915, he publicly challenged white supremacy at home and abroad, enjoying the same audacious lifestyle of conspicuous consumption, masculine bravado, and interracial love wherever he traveled. Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner provides the first in-depth exploration of Johnson’s battles against the color line in places as far-flung as Sydney, London, Cape Town, Paris, Havana, and Mexico City. In relating this dramatic story, Theresa Runstedtler constructs a global history of race, gender, and empire in the early twentieth century.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is a must-have addition to any boxing fan's library."--Boxing News

"Runstedtler brings new perspectives to bear in Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner. . . it's well worth the read."--The Ring

"Runstedtler presents an unexpected yet wholly authentic take on the great African American boxer, Jack Johnson."--Booklist

"A fascinating must-read for students of African American or American studies covering the early 1900s."--Library Journal

"My nominee for book of the year by a rising young scholar. . . . For anyone interested in colonialism, imperialism, race, and the global impact of sport, this book is a must read."--With a Brooklyn Accent

Boxing News - Glenn Wilson

“This book is a must-have addition to any boxing fan's library.”
The Ring - Thomas Hauser

“Runstedtler brings new perspectives to bear in Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner. . . it’s well worth the read.”
Booklist - Alan Moores

“Runstedtler presents an unexpected yet wholly authentic take on the great African American boxer, Jack Johnson.”
With A Brooklyn Accent - Mark Naison

“My nominee for book of the year by a rising young scholar. . . . For anyone interested in colonialism, imperialism, race, and the global impact of sport, this book is a must read.”
Choice - R. W. Roberts

“A thoroughly researched, scholarly study, meant to be read slowly and considered deeply. . . . Highly recommended for all readers.”
Journal of Sport History - Gerald R. Gems

"A multitude of biographies have examined the life and influence of Jack Johnson over the last half-century, largely focused on the boxer's battles, escapades, and problems in the United States. Theresa Runstedtler has addressed a need for a more complete analysis in a transnational study that concentrates on Johnson's international impact. . . . This book is a valuable addition to the scholarly literature."
Journal of American History - Randy Roberts

"Using the color line as her yardstick, Runstedtler brilliantly measures Johnson’s global impact. . . . She adds freshinsights about the meaning of Johnson’s life, and she suggests new ways of understanding sport, race, and history."
International Journal of the History of Sport - Troy Rondinone

"In Theresa Runstedtler’s exciting new book about Jack Johnson’s global impact, Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner: Boxing in the Shadow of the Global Color Line, we get something very rare — a history that truly travels the world along with its subject. This book represents a bold new way of conceptualizing boxing history across vectors of space, race, and theory. Recognizing the global nature of the sport and her subject, Runstedtler provides us with a transnational account in a genre that all-too-often tracks its participants no further than the boundaries of the ring. . . . A book like this one is long overdue and much welcomed."
Library Journal
Heavyweight champion Jack Johnson (1878–1946) was given to living large, embarrassing white opponents, and consorting with white women at a time when Jim Crow flourished at home and the doctrine of the "white man's burden" was encircling the globe. Therefore, even when he fled the United States after a Mann Act conviction, he couldn't escape racism. He and other wandering African American athletes and entertainers, however, inspired waves of pride among people of color everywhere through their successes in the face of prejudice. Runstedtler (American studies, Univ. of Buffalo) makes Johnson the centerpiece of what is also a study of global black-white relations during his era. VERDICT A scholarly treatise, this will be passed over by casual boxing fans, but it is a fascinating must-read for students of African American or American studies covering the early 1900s.—Jim Burns, Jacksonville P.L., FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520280113
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2013
  • Series: American Crossroads , #33
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 376
  • Sales rank: 811,445
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Theresa Runstedtler is Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Buffalo.
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Table of Contents


Contents
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

Preface: Sparring Nations, Global Problem
Introduction: Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner

1. Embodying Empire: Jack Johnson and the White Pacific
2. White Censors, Dark Screens: The Jeffries-Johnson Fight Film Controversy
3. Jack Johnson versus John Bull: The Rise of the British Boxing Colour Bar
4. The Black Atlantic from Below: African American Boxers and the Search for Exile
5. Trading Race: Black Bodies and French Regeneration
6. Viva Johnson! Fighting over Race in the Americas
7. The Empire Strikes Back: The “French Jack Johnson” and the Rising Tide of Color

Epilogue: Visible Men, Harmless Icons

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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