Joe Louis versus
Joe Louis was
hope before Martin Luther King, change before Jackie Robinson, the greatest before Ali, patriotism before Colin Powell and the embodiment of Black
pride before the Movement.
When Joe Louis won, we all won. He showed that racism was beatable
and survival in a world that was White was possible. He symbolized migration from the South to find opportunity in the North
before Mexican immigration garnered attention and jobs. Crowds would gather to catch a glimpse or perchance shake the hand
of The Champ. He was our rights and our lefts using these powerful hands to pummel his way to the pinnacle of the sports world,
dominate the media, and show that being born Black was not a ticket on the back seat of a crowded bus traveling on the bumpy
road to irrelevance.
He overcame the transgressions of Jack Johnson and the divisive rhetoric of Marcus Garvey to reignite the torch carried by Frederick Douglass. Lacking the genius of Carver, the elegance of Ellington, the humor of Foxx, and the charisma of Adam Clayton Powell, but having the support without quota of Blacks joining hands to reach
across the great continental divide of separate but unequal to the opened minds and hearts willing to embrace a common way.
Joe Louis was the people's Champion.
A comparison with Barack Obama? Barack Obama is Joe Louis.