Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

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Jack Johnson was a Black world champion boxer in the early 1900s. Black people saw him as a crusader against racism, while white people hated that he defeated all the best white boxers, showed off his wealth and power, and married white women. At the height of his fame, he got arrested on false sex trafficking charges when he went on a road trip with his wife.

Jack Johnson Quotes in Stamped

The Stamped quotes below are all either spoken by Jack Johnson or refer to Jack Johnson. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers edition of Stamped published in 2020.
Chapter 16 Quotes

For racists, athletes and entertainers could be spun into narratives of the Black aggressor, the natural dancer, etc. Like, the reason Black people were good wasn’t because of practice and hard work but because they were born with it. […]

For Black people, however, sports and entertainment were, and still are, a way to step into the shoes of the big-timer. It was a way to use the athlete or the entertainer—Johnson being both—as an avatar. As a representative of the entire race. Like human teleportation machines, zapping Black people, especially poor Black people, from powerlessness to possibility.

Related Characters: Jason Reynolds (speaker), Jack Johnson
Page Number: 130
Explanation and Analysis:
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Jack Johnson Character Timeline in Stamped

The timeline below shows where the character Jack Johnson appears in Stamped. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 16: Jack Johnson vs. Tarzan
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
...beat Booker T. Washington in their fight for political influence, the famous Black boxing champion Jack Johnson was busy knocking out the world’s best white boxers. Actually, racists have always used successful... (full context)
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
How Racist Ideas Spread Theme Icon
White people hated Jack Johnson for his ego and his flashy clothes, but they especially hated that he married a... (full context)
How Racist Ideas Spread Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan novels were white America’s answer to Jack Johnson . In the novels, apes raise a white orphan boy in Africa and name him... (full context)