Black History Month Spotlight: Jack Johnson (Video)

Jack Johnson

Today in 1903, Jack Johnson became the first African American to become the first African American heavyweight boxing champion of the world.  But Jack Johnson was more than a boxer making headlines with his blackness.  At the turn of the century, he let the whole world know that he would do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted and he could afford it.  He was a man and an infamous ladies’ man…with the white women.  He ostentatiously dated white women during a time when a black man would be lynched and/or burned to death for merely making eye contact with a white woman.  Jack Johnson was unapologetic about his blackness and carried it proudly.  Born, in Galveston, Tx., on March 31, 1878, he was the son of enslaved parents who would never be enslaved in his mind or body.

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