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I Fight for a Living – Boxing and the Battle for Black Manhood, 1880-1915 - Illinois Scholarship Online
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I Fight for a Living: Boxing and the Battle for Black Manhood, 1880-1915

Louis Moore


At its heart, I Fight for a Living is a book about black men who came of age in the Reconstruction and early Jim Crow era--a time when the remaking of white manhood was at its most intense, placing vigor and physicality at the center of the construction of manliness. The book uses the stories of black fighters’ lives, from 1880 to 1915, to explore how working-class black men used prizefighting and the sporting culture to assert their manhood in a country that denied their equality, and to examine the reactions by the black middle class and white middle class toward these black fighters. Throug ... More

Keywords: Colored Champion, Manliness, Manhood, Masculinity, Boxing, Prizefighting, Physicality, Black Middle Class, Respectability, Colored sport, Jack Johnson, Sam Langford, Joe Gans, George Dixon, Jim Jeffries, John L. Sullivan, Male bodies, Racial superiority, Color line

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780252041341
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252041341.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Louis Moore, author
Grand Valley State University