Counter Racism Now! Campaigns

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Jack Johnson: "Obscuring what happened along the way does him no justice."

"Jack Johnson's life was a constant fight against the attitudes of the day, and he won most of them by knockout. Obscuring what happened along the way does him no justice." - Glenn Hauman, Assistant Editor For The Original Johnson Comic Book Series. I can only imagine the chuckles that came from Mr. Hauman as he wrote those words, addressed to me about my critical view of his ghost written work. His last ten words, reveal a truth, that demonstrates that his team emphatically did Jack Johnson "no justice". Mr. Hauman either purposely obscured the truth or is totally unaware of what the truth is. I suspect the former because I can't see how someone with his writing skill could not have read the truth of what Jack Johnson wrote about his own experiences. Mr. Johnson's autobiography is a true inspiration and nothing close to the toilet paper that is referred to as the "Original Johnson Comic Book Series". My hunch was correct about the comic book being a deceptive work that "obscures" the truth. I read his autobiography from cover to cover looking for many of the situations that appear in the comic book series and I have to say that this comic book can serve no other constructive purpose than to serve as flooring for the bottom of a hamster's cage or I maybe I could crumple it up to make it real soft for wiping my ass with. I just don't know. It might not even be worth wiping my ass with. And here I will prove it. I will show you in the order that it was revealed to me. First, the truth mixed with falsehood: These are the pages in the toilet paper.....I mean.....the "Comic Book", that details Johnson's experience, as a "hobo", riding as a stowaway on the railroad to New York to find Steve Broadie. According to the comic book a "white" man attempted to sodomize Johnson on the train, but he was saved by a "black" male who kicks the "white" man off of the train just in the nick of time. Once again, as I pointed out in earlier posts on this crap, Johnson is pictured being sodomized by a "white" man. Whats interesting though is that these pages tell three lies about Johnson. One is that Johnson never road the rails to New York. Two is that he never was sodomized on the train and there is no evidence that he was ever sodomized for that matter. Three, the few times that he rode the rails, he does not mention meeting or riding with anyone, other than the railroad employees who kicked him off of the train. In Chapter Two pages 20 to 21, of Johnson's Autobiography, entitled "The Stowaway". Mr. Johnson reveals the truth: I have uploaded here what I call part one of the only page (page 21) that describes "travels" on the "rails" and it was brief. I made the page large enough for you to read with your own eyes, the very truth that smacks the falsehood outta toilet paper. And it appears that all of his "rail riding" never got him outside of Galveston, Texas. Read it. Notice how he mentions his "father"? If you read The Original Johnson #2, you will remember that it portrayed him as having an abusive "mother" and implied that he was an only child growing up in a single "parent" household. LIES! It was actually his sister who urged him on (with words and not violence) to go and fight, not a gang of "white" boys calling him a nigger, as implied in this snot rag called a "comic book", but one "non-white" male who was bigger than him. I am suspecting that this individual was a "non-white" male because, throughout the book, Johnson states when a person is a "white" person and because it was in the Jim Crow era, when it was not very common for "white" teenagers and "non-white" teenagers to interact with each other. Here's the other part of page 21. Notice how Johnson says that he stowed away on a boat that he believed was bound for New York? After a very interesting adventure as a sponge fisherman and battling a 23 foot long shark, he stowed away on another ship that was actually bound for New York. I suspect that Jack Johnson's "story" was purposely put in comic book form to deceive people, especially, Victims of Racism away from learning about the true Jack Johnson. I was amazed to know that he wrote his own biography. The system had me convinced that he was a big black dumb ass nigger who chased "white" women (his first "wife" was a "non-white" female), that did absolutely nothing constructive. That is far from the truth. He was a business owner (he owned numerous businesses), a traveler, an actor, a bullfighter, a race car driver, a writer, and there are other interesting things to learn about him. I had always thought that he died young, but he was 68 years old when he was killed in a car crash in Raleigh, N.C. If you have read the full comic book series, but have not read "Jack Johnson is a Dandy"(Jack Johnson in his own words), and then you go around speaking about Mr. Johnson as though what you read about him in these comic books were true, you will be in support of "Obscuring what happened along the way" Which is exactly what these comic books are doing.


  1. Just curious SynQ, what is the context of that Haupman quote at the top of this page? Obviously it is hard to tell from such a small snippet, but it actually seems to me as though he were accusing YOU of obscuring his work, and saying that you do him no Justice. Not that he was admitting that he had done the same.

    Like I say, real hard to tell from that.

  2. Yes sir he WAS accusing ME. I was attempting to demonstrate the hypocrisy in his words. Because "his work" does to Jack Johnson's story, exactly what he was accusing me of doing. You have to read all of my posts that regard "The Original Johnson" comic book series to get it, I suspect.

  3. I have read this book as well, and I agree that it was not a particularly accurate representation of Jack Johnson's life. Although, unlike you, my criticism is that I think it glorifies Johnson too much. I find the man's life and the reaction of society to him to be extremely interesting, but I have no illusions about what kind of man he was. He was self-centered, hedonistic, abusive towards women (most of whom he dealt with were prostitutes), and not particularly concerned with the condition of Black people in general. Original Johnson tries to paint him as a sort of Black hero in many ways, like the dream sequence of him as a Knight in golden army avenging the Black race. That's total fiction.

    Make no mistake, the man was unjustly targeted by the White power structure of the time, and his conviction of violating the Mann Act (which wasn't even a law yet @ the time of Johnson's supposed crime) was completely fabricated, but the man himself was no saint. But in modern times people tend to look @ his conviction and compare him to Muhammad Ali. Truth is, Johnson has more common with a Dennis Rodman or Terrell Owens type of athlete. If they had existed during Johnson's time they would have been persecuted for their actions as well.

    This is why I have to say that I don't think it's a good idea to take Johnson's autobiography @ his word. He wrote it, so of course he's going to present himself in the best possible light, that's what most folks who write autobiographies do. Biographies happen to be a hobby of mine, over the years I've read dozens of biographies and autobiographies about everyone from Malcolm X to Malcolm Forbes. From Bill Gates to LL Cool J. From Clarence Thomas to Sam Walton. And I can tell you that autobiographies are always sanitized. Of course, the trick with unauthorized biographies is to find one that's not biased, either pro or con, about the subject, which often requires your own self-judgment and learning to read between the lines.

    In the case of Jack Johnson, if you want to see what I consider to be a balanced view of his life, in a way that praises his accomplishments while not shying away from his faults, I would recommend checking out the Ken Burns documentary "Unforgivable Blackness."

  4. @J.R. Lamar- Thank You for your comments.The only commonality that all of the athletes(you mentioned, including Johnson) have, that I am concerned about here, is in their being Victims of Racism (White Supremacy). I am not concerned about comparisons of one victim's behavior to that of another victim (e.g. Rodman vs Ali). This is not about "role models" or "black heroes". The point that I am making here, is that most of the situations in the comic book were outright lies. The writer and producers of the comic book said that it was based on his autobiography called "Jack Johnson is a Dandy".

    The comic book implies that Johnson's motivation to be a boxer, came from his mother's physically beating him and forcing him to fight the local "white" boys who bullied him and called him nigger, as a youth, when in fact, none of that ever happened. They made it appear that he was raised in a single parent family, when he was not. They made it appear that a hobo tried to rape him on the train, when that didn't happen. He was an inspiration in the fact that he owned a few businesses, and traveled a lot, which are things that huge numbers of "black" people don't do, but should be doing. He also appeared to have more sense than what most people have been lead to believe he had. I understand that Johnson exaggerated himself in his own book, but if you look carefully you will see that the situations that I addressed, weren't the kind that he exaggerated. I saw the documentary sometime ago, and I do not remember it mentioning the situations that I am addressed here.

  5. The thing is, you seem to only be focusing on the non-facts in the book that were "bad," while ignoring all the other ways that the book lied to make Johnson appear more virtuous and almost superheroic than he really was. The book also has him and another Black boxer defeateing two shotgun-armed Klansmen with their bare hands, and has him traveling to TX after a flood and saving a Black woman from getting raped by two White men. Those events didn't happen either.

    Incidentally, I just got Vol. 2 today. It's not much better. There's this whole sequence where Jack meets some rich White woman named Dominque where she takes him to her mansion and give him so huge speech about race, and then they have sex and the next day she moves to Europe. I have no idea what the point of that is, but it lasts 48 pages. By contrast, Johnson finally winning the heavyweight title and then his conviction and exile are all sort of rushed through in a few pages.

    And then, of course, the book ends with ANOTHER comment comparing Jack's last name "Johnson" to men's penis'.

    And Unforgivable Blackness does mention him starting his own club, and inventing a special wrench to use to fix cars, as well as talking about how he was well-read. I think it's a fair and balanced look @ the man.

  6. @J.R. Lamar- Originally I had intended to go through the whole comic book series, pick it apart, and display all of the deception.

    After I received a comment from the comic's producer, I decided that I had made my point with the pages that I had already worked with. I have since decided that the comic book is worth less than toilet paper, and therefore needs no more attention from me.

    You are more than welcome to set up a blog, continue from where I left off and point out whatever deceptions you see.

  7. I've got two: and

    I've thought about reviewing the books, just haven't gotten around to it yet.


Thank You For Your Comments