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Geoffrey C. Ward won the national Book Critics Circle Award in 1989. He is the author of Unforgiveable Blackness and, with Ken Burns, he is co-author of The Civil War and Jazz.
Jack Johnson battled his way from obscurity to the top of the heavyweight ranks and in 1908 won the greatest prize in American sports - one that had always been the preserve of white boxers. At a time when whites ran everything in America, he took orders from no one and resolved to live as if colour did not exist.