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.
Thursday, March 2 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium
400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201