Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Jack Johnson Joins Us on The Titanic

If you're a history nut, one of the things you remember in early April is the anniversary of the 1912 sinking of The Titanic. But history also teaches you that there's more than one way to see historical events. For African Americans, for instance, the Titanic and other ocean liners of that era were great symbols of discrimination. As a rule, they welcomed no black passengers. In fact, there's a famous story of the great African-American boxer Jack Johnson being denied passage on a ship because of his race. That ship wasn't The Titanic, but years later when Lead Belly was composing his rather ironic tribute to the 1912 disaster, he couldn't resist bringing Jack Johnson into a starring role in the song, though Lead Belly later noted he sometimes left out those verses when he sang in front of white audiences. Well, The Flood's begun rehearsing the song, and, as you'll hear, we're proud to have Mr. Johnson on board with us.

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