"Unforgivable Blackness": Jack Johnson

Essay by jagerbombwvuUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 2006

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The film "Unforgivable Blackness" explains all of Jack Johnson's life from his birth in Texas through his rise in the boxing ranks. In this film you see the greats of the era, both black and white. For about thirteen years, Johnson was the most known African American on earth. He crossed the country fighting anyone who would enter the ring. It didn't matter if his opponent were black or white. As Johnson was developing his skills and spreading his name for himself, superior white boxers refused to fight him, saying he was inferior, and not worthy of sharing the ring with a white man. But when Johnson faced off against white combatants he punished them. Johnson knew he had them a fair fight where he had the total advantage over them.

Jack Johnson had many pivotal moments in his life. Like his desire to face Burns in his title fight, his defense of his title, and his persecution by his own government.

Also, Johnson's jail time, and his attempts to hang on to his fame thru the end of his career and life. It is both shocking and revolting to see how common prejudice was within the community, and daily newspapers of the day.

He is a complex man who has more imperfections than just his unrelenting pride. The hatred Johnson had toward him was felt by many people, even black fighters. After he held the title, he was completely resented for the negative feelings he brought throughout the white population. There is no way he could have been anything but loathed. People believed that Johnson behaved all full of himself because of how much he was hated. The fact that society was against him pushed him even more so he would be remembered. Johnson made sure that he...