Joe Louis & Max SchmelingTuesday, October 25, 2005
A wonderful review on an important new book out: Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink. Louis – one of the all-time great fighters – was black, Schmeling a German in the Nazi era, and his manager a New York Jew. Unknown to many, Louis and Schmeling became pals. The two weave a fascinating story. The review mentions Jack Johnson, who preceeded Louis as a black heavyweight champion. Earlier this year, I had the chance to see “Unforgiveable Blackness,” the Ken Burns portrayal of Johnson’s difficulty in breaking through race barriers. Excellent film. It is one of the better pieces I have seen in regards to how it deals with race. Little political correctness and victimology, and lots of harsh, raw truths about being black in the early part of the 20th century.