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Writers LIVE! Adrian Matejka with Jason Reynolds

Adrian Matejka will look at the life of the first Black heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson (1878-1946).  The son of formerly enslaved parents, Johnson worked his way to the top of the boxing world despite facing widespread racism and segregation. This was personified by his July 4, 1910 bout, deemed the “Battle of the Century,” against former white heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries.  Adrian Matejka will be joined in conversation by award-winning author Jason Reynolds. 

Adrian Matejka is the author of the award winning poetry collection The Big Smoke, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.   He is an English professor at Indiana University, Bloomington and a former Poet Laureate of the state of Indiana.

Jason Reynolds is the author of several award-winning books, including Look Both Ways, Long Way Down, and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (with Ibram X. Kendi).  He was the 2020-2022 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. 

  • This FREE event will be presented in-person and virtually.   
  • To attend in person we strongly encourage you to register here, 
  • Free parking vouchers are available to program attendees who park at the Franklin Street Garage (15 W. Franklin Street) after 4pm.  Ask Pratt event staff for your parking voucher prior to or after the program.
  • Books sales provided by Urban Reads Bookstore

Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium
400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Event Type

Writers LIVE!, Black History, Virtual Event

Age Group


Compass Category

Writers LIVE at the Library

Event Publisher

Emily Levine, Manager of Adult Services

Digital Signage


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