Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Aug 4, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 544 pages
31 Reviews
In this vivid biography Geoffrey C. Ward brings back to life the most celebrated — and the most reviled — African American of his age.

Jack Johnson battled his way out of obscurity and poverty in the Jim Crow South to win the title of heavyweight champion of the world. At a time when whites ran everything in America, he took orders from no one and resolved to live as if color did not exist. While most blacks struggled simply to exist, he reveled in his riches and his fame, sleeping with whomever he pleased, to the consternation and anger of much of white America. Because he did so the federal government set out to destroy him, and he was forced to endure prison and seven years of exile. This definitive biography portrays Jack Johnson as he really was--a battler against the bigotry of his era and the embodiment of American individualism.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Review: Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

User Review  - Arminius - Goodreads

This book is not only about the first Black Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jack Johnson but about racism in the early 20th Century. Jack Johnson was a large, fast quick and powerful puncher whose skill ... Read full review

Review: Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

User Review  - Goodreads

Well-written, sympathetic but not hagiographic, about a great man who never got his due. I kept wanting things to turn out better for him personally, but the quality of his life was a bell curve that ... Read full review



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About the author (2010)

Geoffrey C. Ward won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1989. With Ken Burns, he is coauthor of The Civil War and Jazz. He lives in New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.

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