Monthly Archives: January 2012

New Publication: Jack Johnson Rebel Sojourner

Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner: Boxing in the Shadow of the Global Color Line by Theresa Rundstedtler is a new publication by University of California Press now available to order online.

In his day, Jack Johnson—born in Texas, the son of former slaves—was the most famous black man on the planet. As the first African American World Heavyweight Champion (1908–1915), he publicly challenged white supremacy at home and abroad, enjoying the same audacious lifestyle of conspicuous consumption, masculine bravado, and interracial love wherever he traveled. Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner provides the first in-depth exploration of Johnson’s battles against the color line in places as far-flung as Sydney, London, Cape Town, Paris, Havana, and Mexico City. In relating this dramatic story, Theresa Runstedtler constructs a global history of race, gender, and empire in the early twentieth century.

“Theresa Runstedtler traces Jack Johnson’s fabulous, furious, iconic life across five continents and through four paradigms (race, masculinity, imperialism, and popular culture), setting a formidably high bar in the emerging genre of transnational biography. Jack Johnson: Rebel Sojourner is a groundbreaking achievement.”—David Levering Lewis, author of When Harlem Was in Vogue

“This is a brilliantly researched and original study of the transnational career of the black American boxer Jack Johnson. In lucid and engaging prose, Theresa Runstedtler traces Johnson’s travels across multiple continents, showing how Johnson’s life serves as a cultural compass for the intersecting worlds of American, British, and French empire and ideas of race at the turn of the last century. This marvelous contribution to the burgeoning literature on the popular culture of imperialism and transnationalism will find a wide and appreciative audience among scholars of empire, American history, and African American studies.”¬—Kevin Gaines, author of American Africans in Ghana: Black Expatriates in the Civil Rights Era.

For more information on this exciting new publication click here.

To order a copy of the book online you can visit the University of California Press or order on Amazon.

(Information via University of California Press)

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30 Americans at the Corcoran Gallery of Art

Get on down to the Corcoran – only one month left to see this brilliant exhibition. There is also a 2 day symposium Inner Visions Full Circle to be held in collaboration with Howard University at their Blackburn Center beginning 20 January – registration is now open online.

30 Americans is a wide-ranging survey of work by many of the most important African American artists of the last three decades. Selected from the Rubell Family Collection, the exhibition brings together seminal figures such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and David Hammons with younger and emerging artists such as Kehinde Wiley and Shinique Smith. Often provocative and challenging, 30 Americans focuses on issues of racial, sexual, and historical identity in contemporary culture. It explores how each artist reckons with the notion of black identity in America, navigating such concerns as the struggle for civil rights, popular culture, and media imagery. At the same time, it highlights artistic legacy and influence, tracing subject matter and formal strategies across generations.

For more information about 30 Americans exhibition click here.

For more information about Inner Visions Full Circle Symposium and registration click here.