Courses/Lectures

Each of the 34 courses available can be enrolled in individually, or in packages.  Each course is an approximately 1-hour session that consists of the opportunity for the students to interact with the associated artifacts, and a discussion exercise tailored for your specific class in accordance with your teacher's curriculum/recommendations.  If the Course List below doesn’t fit your needs, we can work together to develop the presentation you desire – from control of the discussion topics to selection of items to be presented.

Before Jack Johnson: Black Fighters and the Birth of U.S. Boxing

Often forgotten in history, the first man to claim the title of Heavyweight Champion of the United States was a black man and descendant of slaves Tom Mollineaux.  In his time, his fighting exploits around the United States of the late 1700s and early 1800s established him as the best the country had to offer.  He journeyed to Britain with this title, fighting the British champion Thomas Cribb.  Despite appearing victorious, he would lose under sketchy circumstance, and gradually succumb to alcoholism. His story is one of perseverance, but also a tragic reminder of the pitfalls of fame and success.  After him, other African-American fighters emerged, many from the chains of bondage, to become professional fighters.  Before Jack Johnson became the first African-American to claim the title “Heavyweight Champion of the World,” there was a number of fighters who fought to paved the way.

 

Artifacts: Mollineaux boxing card, magazine article, old Police Gazette illustrated articles, Nat Fleischer’s Black Dynamite

The Ring with Tom Mollineaux and Thomas Cribb on cover, April 1948 -

Battle Between Sam Robinson and Harry Sutton, Famous Fights Past and Present,  Vol. 10 No. 125, (1903) -  Two of the earliest fights to emerge after Tom Mollineaux werew Harry Sutton and Same Robinson

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