Boxing: The Pottawatomie Plowboy

The crowd goes wild. The band breaks into a jubilant, drum-thumping march. The loser, a shave-headed Negro, is led from the ring, while speaking ruefully with a reporter. The winner, a white man, is paraded about on the shoulders of the cheering crowd. One gloved hand mechanically extended, he stares ahead, his face a bloody mask of idiocy.

So ends The Great White Hope, the current Broadway play based on the career of Boxer Jack Johnson, the first Negro heavyweight champion (1908-15). Typically, Jess Willard, the only one of several "white hopes"...

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