My Life and Battles: By Jack Johnson


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For example, early boxers used to hire "scientists" - essentially anatomy experts who looked at their form and told them where to do damage on the body - and this was always something poor blacks If you liked the stories about black boxers inThe 50th Law, Jack Johnson's memoir is the next step. For example, early boxers used to hire "scientists" - essentially anatomy experts who looked at their form and told them where to do damage on the body - and this was always something poor blacks were excluded from.

Johnson taught himself instead by purposely prolonging fights - sort of distancing himself from his own head and observing the fight as though he was a bystander. He tried to look at boxing like a business, putting his likes and dislikes of any situation aside, so he could be objective.

Tucker’s Rating: 8.5 / 10

It's a philosophy that hustlers seem to understand well, the concept of You, Inc, because they never had any other option. Necessity required self-employment. With Johnson though, you want to keep in mind that for all he built and achieved, he lost more. Obviously, he couldn't control the racial problems of the time but he very intentionally played with the fire that ultimately burned him.

Not saying it isn't sad, it's just what happened. Jan 30, Crease rated it liked it Shelves: historical-bio. With a command of language accurately described as "flowery formality" by translator Christopher Rivers, Jack Johnson presents us with ego on the level of Wilt Chamberlain and Muhammad Ali in "My Life and Battles.

My Life and Battles

I must admit to no small bit of pride in reading the wit and oratory present within these With a command of language accurately described as "flowery formality" by translator Christopher Rivers, Jack Johnson presents us with ego on the level of Wilt Chamberlain and Muhammad Ali in "My Life and Battles. I must admit to no small bit of pride in reading the wit and oratory present within these or so pages. For a man apparently without access to formal education, Johnson was exceptionally well-spoken, even learning to speak decent french after effective exile from the U.

Hard to rate these ultra-short reads; My Life and Battles is closer to a pamphlet than a book. Even with Johnson's witty repartee, I found myself tiring of the round by round details of sooooo many matches. Jun 18, Bey rated it really liked it. This was a interesting short read. The beginning of the book is mostly about growing up in Galveston. Its got some cute stories. Once he becomes a boxer things take off.


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He chronicals each of his fights and how he felt about the opponent and his preparation. For me the most interesting parts are how readily Johnson takes on new challenges. His opponent moves to Australia--Jack johnson takes a steamer for Australia. He needs to go to Europe he goes to Europe. That he is a young black man from This was a interesting short read. That he is a young black man from Galveston Texas, in the 's does not taint his optimism. It is and oddly verbose book, much more flowery than you'd expect from an uneducated grammar school, but no further athlete.

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The life and battles of Jack Johnson

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Carve a new path. There are so many great lessons in here and I wish more people would read it. And this text survives and you have access to it today. There are so many great lessons about craft and psychology within this book. The best part? It was written by someone who actually knew what he was talking about, not some art snob or critic, but an actual artist and architect of equal stature to the people he was documenting. But Bierce is the one who truly captured the Civil War—a terrible and awful conflict in which death and destruction and stupidity were far more prevalent than strategy or heroism.

Too many books about the Civil War are inaccessible, with their flanking movements and war vocabulary. This book is all people.

Among the period's most dominant champions, Johnson remains a boxing legend, with his fight against James J. Jeffries dubbed the " fight of the century ". In , Johnson opened a successful and luxurious "black and tan" desegregated restaurant and nightclub, which in part was run by his wife, a white woman. Major newspapers of the time soon claimed that Johnson was attacked by the government only after he became famous as a black man married to a white woman, and was linked to other white women.

Sentenced to a year in prison, Johnson fled the country and fought boxing matches abroad for seven years until when he served his sentence at the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth. Johnson was posthumously pardoned by President Donald Trump in May , years after his conviction.

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Johnson continued taking paying fights for many years, and operated several other businesses, including lucrative endorsement deals. Johnson died in a car crash on June 10, , at the age of Johnson was born the third child of nine, and the first son, of Henry and Tina Johnson, two former slaves who worked blue collar jobs as a janitor and a dishwasher. His father Henry served as a civilian teamster of the Union's 38th Colored Infantry. Growing up in Galveston, Texas, Johnson attended five years of school.

Although Johnson grew up in the South, he said that segregation was not an issue in the somewhat secluded city of Galveston, as everyone living in the 12th Ward was poor and went through the same struggles. Remembering his childhood, Johnson said: "As I grew up, the white boys were my friends and my pals. I ate with them, played with them and slept at their homes. Their mothers gave me cookies, and I ate at their tables. No one ever taught me that white men were superior to me. After Johnson quit school, he began a job working at the local docks. He made several other attempts at working other jobs around town until one day he made his way to Dallas, finding work at the race track exercising horses.

Jack stuck with this job until he found a new apprenticeship for a carriage painter by the name of Walter Lewis.


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Lewis enjoyed watching friends spar, and Johnson began to learn how to box. On his return to Galveston, he soon found employment as a janitor at a gym owned by German-born heavyweight fighter Herman Bernau. Johnson eventually put away enough money to buy two pairs of boxing gloves, sparring every chance he got.

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After returning home, Johnson had a fight with one Davie Pearson. Johnson remembers Pearson as a "grown and toughened" man who accused Johnson of turning him in to the police over a game of craps. When both of them were released from jail, they met at the docks and Johnson beat Pearson before a large crowd. Because prize fighting was illegal in Texas, the fight was broken up and moved to the beach where Johnson won his first fight and a prize of one dollar and fifty cents.

Johnson made his debut as a professional boxer on November 1, , in Galveston, Texas, when he knocked out Charley Brooks in the second round of a round bout for what was billed as "The Texas State Middleweight Title". In his third pro fight on May 8, , he battled "Klondike" John W. Klondike so called as he was considered a rarity, like the gold in the Klondike , who had declared himself the "Black Heavyweight Champ", won on a technical knockout TKO in the fifth round of a scheduled six-rounder.

The two fighters met again in , with the first contest resulting in a draw as both fighters were on their feet at the end of 20 rounds. Johnson won the second fight by a TKO when Klondike refused to come out for the 14th round. Johnson did not claim Klondike's unrecognized title. Choynski, a popular and experienced heavyweight, knocked out Johnson in the third round. Prizefighting was illegal in Texas at the time and they were both arrested. The sheriff permitted both fighters to go home at night so long as they agreed to spar in the jail cell. Large crowds gathered to watch the sessions.

After 23 days in jail, their bail was reduced to an affordable level and a grand jury refused to indict either man. However, Johnson later stated that he learned his boxing skills during that jail time. The two would remain friends. Johnson attested that his success in boxing came from the coaching he received from Choynski. Throughout his career Johnson built a unique fighting style of his own, which was not customary to boxing during this time. Though Jack would typically strike first, he would fight defensively, waiting for his opponents to tire out, while becoming more aggressive as the rounds went on.

My Life and Battles: By Jack Johnson
My Life and Battles: By Jack Johnson
My Life and Battles: By Jack Johnson
My Life and Battles: By Jack Johnson
My Life and Battles: By Jack Johnson
My Life and Battles: By Jack Johnson
My Life and Battles: By Jack Johnson
My Life and Battles: By Jack Johnson
My Life and Battles: By Jack Johnson

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