MI Black History Month: A Knockout in the Name of Democracy

Q: What notable victory did Detroit boxer Joe Louis score in 1938?

A: He beat German boxer Max Schmeling, who had previously defeated Louis in 1936. The 1938 bout was seen as much more than just a match between two boxers — it was viewed by many as a triumph of American values over German Nazism. When the U.S. joined World War II, Joe Louis signed up for the Army and served for four years as a physical education teacher, providing boxing exhibitions for troops and challenging the military’s color barrier. Joe Louis held the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship for 12 years, a record that still stands.

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