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Black Jack: The Ballad of Jack Johnson Hardcover – June 22, 2010
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A Look Inside Black Jack: The Ballad of Jack Johnson
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|Black Jack was a brave man||Black Jack chases Tommy Burns|
|Jack vs. Tommy in the ring||Jack knocks the champ down|
From School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
Black Jack was a STRONG man.
Black Jack was a Brave, Strong, FIGHTIN' man.
But mostly, Black Jack was his
Black Jack was born in 1878 in Texas. His name was Arthur John Johnson and his parents were freed slaves who taught him pride and gave him the will to better himself. He worked all sorts of jobs to make a living, but what suited him was boxing. He became a good boxer, a great boxer with the style. And he set his sites on the Boxing Championship, but there was only one problem. The white boxers wouldn't fight him.
This book personalizes bigotry and prejudice in a tangible way that children can understand. It portrays Black Jack in a positive light, and then throws what seems to be insurmountable adversity in his way. Leaving prejudice aside, it gives children an example of what it means to want to succeed badly enough that you'll fight long and hard for it. And rewards them by showing them how Black Jack fought 'the system' and made the world rethink it's old way of doing things and thinking about people... when he became the World's First Black Heavyweight Champion.
[Children will, of course, need to be reminded that his victory was only a piece of the forces that worked together to create change and that the change took a long time.]
Great artwork. It's accessible and interesting.
I never could quite get the hang of Charles Smith Jr's prose, but it didn't really matter. He conjured up a great story and clearly made his points.
I read this book to my 8 and 10 year-old children. I think it could be read to much younger children, who even if they don't understand prejudice yet, can understand that the idea of working for what you want.
Would be a great addition to a history unit.