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March 19: Noted author discusses controversial life of former boxing champ

FREDERICK, Md.—The author of a biography of a prominent early 20th century black athlete who publicly challenged the concept of white supremacy will give a lecture March 19 at 7 p.m. in Hodson Science and Technology Center, Room 131, at Hood College.

This lecture was previously scheduled for Feb. 17 but was postponed due to inclement weather.

Theresa Runstedtler, associate professor of history at American University, will give a talk entitled Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner. Her book by the same name provides an in-depth exploration of the first African American world heavyweight champion's battles against the color line in countries throughout the world and explores the significance of Johnson’s global legacy.

Johnson’s 1910 victory over James J. Jeffries, the former champion dubbed the "Great White Hope," set off clashes between whites and blacks in cities across the nation. In the history of American sports, few athletes were as famous and hated in their day as Johnson, the son of former slaves. He received much press coverage for his brash personality, flamboyant lifestyle and rejection of traditional racial mores.

For more information about the lecture, contact Jay Driskell, assistant professor of history, at