Comp & Lit 1 October 27th, 2013 Paper #8 In Maya Angelou’s essay “Champion of the World” she describes listening to a boxing match between Joe Louis and Primo Carnera but also a struggle bewtween Black and White Americans. The boxing match was for the Heavvy Weight Championship of the World and the struggle between the two racial cultures was for equality. Even though Joe Lewis, the black boxer, won the fight the victory was temporary. I think the victory signified that even though they black fghter won and proved supperior, it changes nothing. The fears and inequality is still very much still present.
Through the eyes of a young Angelou we see immediately how important this fight is to the black people. She described her uncles General Store as being packed with people of all types of African American people, young and old, there to listen to the fght. She also describes the racial undertones of the fght.
When it sounded like Joe Louis was on the brink of losing the fight Maya says “My race groaned. It was our people falling. It was another lynching, yet another Black man hanging from a tree..
.. lt was a white woman slapping er maid for being forgetful” This means if Joe were to lose the fight it would be a loss for all blacks.It would be felt across the Black community. Actually comparing this fight to the loss of life.
When Joe does win the fight everyone listening to the fight rejoice. But even through all the celebration and the victory by Joe Lewis Black people that lived out of town made arrangements to stay in town because: “It wouldn’t do a Black man and his family to be caught on a lonely country road on a night when Joe Louis had proved that we were the strongest people in he world” Despite the Lewis victory and supposed victory for the black people they still had to live in fear.They were still looked at by the whites as not equal.
They could not truely rejoice for fear of being Jumped. In conclusion I think that Maya was trying to show the reader how the struggle for the black people was going to be an up hill battle. That despite the fact that the heavyweight boxing champion of the world, the strongest man in the world, was a black man the blacks still had to fear white people. Maya Angelu Champion on the World reaction By dcmaloney13