He Was The First Black World Boxing Champion Of The 20th Century

Professional boxer
Via Library of Congress
Shonda Buchanan
November 6, 2020

The sweat and blood glistened on his face as he waited for the next punch. He saw what was coming, dodged it, and then delivered a crushing blow.

His opponent fell – hard. The crowd gasped.

All his life, boxing was the way Joe Gans quieted the ghosts of racism. He couldn’t be equal in white society – but he could make them suffer in the ring!

Boxing was how he took back his respect as a Black man in America. Despite being discriminated against and segregated to “Colored Only” sections when he traveled, he kept training. He knew his secret technique was the key to winning, and he refused to let racists take him down. What was his secret?

While Black boxers relied on skill, white boxers used something different. Gans saw this – and crushed them. What was it? 

Their overconfidence! White boxers underestimated his size, his mastery, and his intelligence! Joe Gans STUDIED them, found their  weaknesses, and struck with precision.

Gans was celebrated as the first Black World Boxing Champion of the 20th century and was dubbed the “Old Master.”

White supremacy will always underestimate us – but if we respect ourselves and our own talents, we can use that same discrimination to overcome their hate!  How are you practicing self-respect in the face of oppression?

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
  • We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: