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June 23, 1937
Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

June 23, 1937


On June 23, 1937, the Atlanta Daily World reported that Joe Louis defeated James Braddock to earn the World Heavyweight Championship of boxing. Louis became the first African-American heavyweight champion since Jack Johnson in 1915, and Louis successfully defended the title twenty-five times over nearly twelve years (click to view PDF of front page).

Days later the New York Amsterdam News reported, “Brooklyn went literally wild when the news of Joe Louis annexing the heavyweight crown of the world to his many already garnered laurels boomed over the air. Screaming, celebrating and what-have-you, that definitely rivaled the pandemonium that graced Harlem, broke out in New York's most populous borough...Down on Myrtle Avenue, one man took a milk bottle and bounced himself over the head by way of mildly showing his approval of the manner in which the Brown Bomber trucked to port.” The Amsterdam News also featured a picture of Louis kissing his wife, Marva.