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Blackness, boxing and the bloodsport of American history.

20210105geraldhorne

Sonny Liston was portrayed, quite openly and notoriously, as a beast. That was taken straight from headlines. I don't think it was a radical disjunction when you had this evolution - or devolution - of these Black American men as being on the one hand treated as if they were docile, and on the other hand, in the blink of an eye, being treated like they were brutal beasts who had to be restrained by any means necessary, up to and including mass incarceration and lynching.

Historian Gerald Horne on the intertwined histories of boxing and Black men under the long reach of slavery, White supremacy and capitalist exploitation in the American 20th century, and his book The Bittersweet Science: Racism, Racketeering and the Political Economy of Boxing from International Publishers.

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Gerald Horne

Gerald Horne is an author and John J. and Rebecca Moores Professor of African American History at the University of Houston.

 

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