Sandspout Bookstore

Black Man vs. The World: Jack Johnson’s Trials, Tribulations, & Triumphs
Adam J. Pollack


Paperback, 656pp, illus
Win By KO Publishers, 2018

This book tells the complete story of Jack Johnson, the first black man to fight for and win the world heavyweight championship. In a thorough, detailed, and unique fashion, Johnson’s life and fights are recounted based on multiple local next-day primary sources, archival documents, as well as a multitude of rare photographs, cartoons, and advertisements. You will follow his path from a poverty-stricken struggling unknown, to contender battling against the color line, lobbying for a title shot which he had earned but for his race, all the way to the championship, his reign, and the great efforts to find a white fighter capable of dethroning him. Throughout, both black and white-owned newspapers offer their plethora of perspectives and substantial context about race, both inside and outside of the ring, better enabling the reader to understand Johnson’s struggles and symbolic significance both to whites and blacks throughout the world. Like never before, boxing fans, sociologists, and historians will obtain knowledge and insight into Jack Johnson’s life and world from which he emerged and endured.

The book includes racial incidents, lynchings and riots, analysis of the significant racial impact of Johnson’s achievements, religious and racial objections and arguments, and legal battles and obstacles Johnson and the sport of boxing faced, including fight film bans, his criminal trial for violation of the White-Slave Traffic Act (based on the actual trial transcript), and even battle for the right to defend his crown in England. This is a revised and condensed version of a work published previously in two volumes: In the Ring With Jack Johnson: Parts I and II.

ISBN 9781949783001