Yesterday and today, we're hosting this audio-visual exhibit, which features a selection of poems about the first black heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson by award-winning poet and professor of creative writing Adrian Matejka. Over the last few years, Matejka has studied biographies, early 20th century newspaper articles, histories of African American life and culture, and books about boxing as part of the necessary research to channel the unconquerable spirit of Jack Johnson as well as his friends and foes.
Our exhibit includes some of Matejka’s poems, his commentary about the overall project, and photographs of Jack Johnson, whose boxing skills (and race) made him “the man they all dodge.”
"You're worthy of poems."
Adrian Matejka: Writing Jack Johnson