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I Fight for a LivingBoxing and the Battle for Black Manhood, 1880-1915$
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Louis Moore

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041341

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041341.001.0001

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Bring Home the Bacon

Bring Home the Bacon

The Black Proletariat and the Prizefighter

(p.22) 1 Bring Home the Bacon
I Fight for a Living

Louis Moore

University of Illinois Press

By the 1890s, for a number of black leaders, the black fighter epitomized the hope of black America. Seen in the context of labor, race, and uplift politics, although race men struggled to come to terms with the reality that prizefighting represented legitimate labor and not leisure, and worried that fighters’ recalcitrant behavior outside the ring would hamper racial uplift according to many race leaders, the black prizefighters’ fistic success represented black competence, work ethic, and grit and proved that blacks could succeed in the racist market economy if given an equal chance to compete in America and overcome white racism.

Keywords:   Black fighter, Leisure, Labor, Black middle class, Market economy

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