Have you heard about jack johnson, he's a hero in this land.
I don't like to sing about boxing but I hope you'll understand.
It was the 1st year they gave the heavyweight to a black man
And in 1908 it ain't so easy.
He was born right after slavery died,
Right after reconstruction died,
Born right after none of that stuff really died at all.
He would walk down the streets wearing gold & diamonds,
Always hold his head up high,
& he never had to say yes sir or no sir
To the white folks as they passed him by, or as he passed them by.
So the great white hope was pulled out of retirement
To nurse the bruised & shattered white pride.
& when johnson beat him down there wasn't a man around at his side.
When the fight was over there was beatings & murders,
The worst race riot this country has seen.
All because they didn't want a black man winning in their ring.
Who said heroes had to be role models anyway.