Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Papa Jack: Jack Johnson and the Era of White Hopes
Randy Roberts


When Jack Johnson defeated white heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries in 1910, it was America’s notions of racial superiority that staggered under his blows. Amid riots and lynchings, the search began for the Great White Hope who could put the “uppity” new champion in his place.

Here is the startling true story of the most famous and most hated black American of his day. “Papa Jack” takes us into a violent and sordid world. It is an astonishing tale of black defiance and white retribution – set against the dramatic canvas of sports and spectacle in Jim Crow America.

Paperback, 304pp
Free Press, 1985
ISBN 9780029269008