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Department ofHistory

Stories

Harry Odamtten Gives a Presentation to SCU Athletics

The history of Black boxers and social change

In March 2021, Harry Odamtten gave a presentation, "The Vocation of the Black Athlete: Race, Sports, and Social Change," to the Athletics Department at SCU. This presentation covered the history of Black boxers and social change in the United States, highlighting why many Black athletes become social activists. It focused on the careers of Tom Molineaux (1784-1818), Jack Johnson (1878-1946), Joe Louis (1914-1981), and Muhammad Ali (1942-2016) and their relationship to the African American quest for freedom in the United States, as well as its internationalist dimensions.