Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Big Smoke: Ticket on the Titanic

[The Big Smoke reading group]  

Adrian Matejka's "Ticket on The Titanic" from The Big Smoke suggests that for once "the color line"actually worked in Jack Johnson's favor. Although he offered to pay the "$4,000 for each ticket" for himself and his partner Etta, the ship captain refused to allow Johnson's passage on the ship. Since Johnson did not board The Titanic when it sailed, he was on land when the mighty ship sank.

What thoughts concerning the "color line" came to mind as a result of reading this poem? Why or how so?  

11 comments:

Ricky Wells said...

In "Ticket on the Titanic" Jack Johnson is upset when he can't get on the ship, but later in life when he finds out that the ship has sank he is appreciative that he was not allowed passage on the ship


Ricky Wells

Nicholas M. said...

I just thought it was weird that Jack was surprised that there was a "color line" to board the Titanic. In that time period, is was very common to see racial segregation happening so blatantly. Even though Jack offered a considerable amount of money to get on board, that still didn't change the color on his skin. The white english sea captain didn't want blacks on his ship.. no amount of money could change that.

Jeremiah Blackburn said...

A thought that came to my mind regarding the "color line" was how many famous black people have been turned away from a luxury like this and it worked out in their favor. It would be interesting to see how other black celebrities around this time would have handled a situation like this.

Robert F said...

The color line in this poem made me think of the color lines that still exist today. Yes the lines aren't as bold, but they still exist. There is a silver lining when it comes to this color line (obviously Jack Johnson was not on the Titanic). What I took from this is the color line still exists, and we should take our wins where we can (not saying the color line is right in any way).

Elijah Person said...

Jack Johnson finds it ironic that they wouldn't let him get on the titanic for $4,000. Even with all the money that the white people had, they couldn't buy their way out of death.

Isaiah I. Person

Anonymous said...

Lucas Reincke said...

From reading this poem, I got the sense that Johnson really wanted to take his wife and himself on a voyage on what was considered the greatest ship ever built by man. However, he was kind of taken a back of how he was not allowed to board, even if he was an African American. He was the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, and even offered multiple thousands of dollars per ticket, which was a huge sum of money at the time. Furthermore, when the Titanic sank he was relieved he was not on the ship and did not pay that huge sum of money to board it.

Xavier Robinson said...

Xavier Robinson said...
Jack thought because he was a prize fighter he should have earned the privilege to board the Titanic, but the color line shows that even the most successful black man can't have all the privileges of a white man. We have to work twice as hard to earn our right to anything.

Deandre Howard said...

What concerned me the most was the fact that even when Johnson offered 4 thousand dollars for each ticket, he was denied. Eh...I guess skin color even supersedes greed. That is incredulous and incredible in our current era.

- DeAndre H.

Joey N. said...

I thought it was very interesting that the Jack was thankful, ironically about the fact that he was racially discriminated against, due to the Titanic sinking and him not willing to buy an over priced ticket.

Quentin W said...

Johnson was happy because even though he was discriminated against, it saved his life. The color line is extremely unfair but in this one situation it ended up working in his favor.

Evan Townzen said...

Jack Johnson was lucky that he was discriminated against. The fact that this ship sunk and thus he probably would have died means that racism saved his life. The color line in this case could represent a large amount of people besides Johnson that were in fact saved from death due to racism.