February 3 -- a Champion is Crowned
Little-known Phlip fact...
I'm a nerd for documentaries, and there was a period back in 2005 where I happily hauled my ass home from work to watch Ken Burns' Unforgivable Blackness: the Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson on PBS.
This will give us February third and its historical occurrence relative to Black History Month, as it matters to me.
On February 3, 1903; Jack Johnson won his first title, the World Colored Heavyweight Championship. This is significant at the time, because while black and white fighters were allowed to fight one another, they were NOT allowed to do so with a title on the line. With a young brute possessing better than 50 wins at the time, taking a title that he COULD have would be a natural conduit to the one he could not yet.
While surely a feared and formidable fighter at the time, February 3, 1903 would be the day that began the steps that would put Jack Johnson in the ring against Tommy Burns to win the not-until-then integrated title in December of 1908.
More could be said about Jack Johnson's career and life after this date, but that is another blog for another time. I am here this month to deal with the event in question and not expound beyond that particular day.
I do, however, strongly suggest a purchase of the DVD I linked at the beginning.