Teaser: Documentary on Leone Jacovacci – 1920s Black Italian Boxer Who “Took a Swing at Fascism”

Posted in Articles, Biography, Europe, Media Archive, Videos on 2017-03-13 15:34Z by Steven

Teaser: Documentary on Leone Jacovacci – 1920s Black Italian Boxer Who “Took a Swing at Fascism”

Shadow and Act: On Film, Television and Web Contents of Africa and Its Diaspora

Leone Jacovacci

Leone Jacovacci (a.k.a. John Douglas Walker and Jack Walker) was born in 1902 in the village of Pombo in the then Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), the son of an Italian man and a Congolese woman. He was raised in Italy which was rough for him, given that he was bi-racial, and as a result, in his late teens, found himself in England where he reinvented himself as John Douglas Walker, added a couple of years to his age, and enlisted in the 53rd Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment of the British Army.

After being discharged, he took up amateur boxing and was mostly successful, bouncing between England and France, racking up victories. In 1922 he returned to Italy, pretending to be an American named Jack Walker until he found it too burdensome to maintain the fake persona (he occasionally slipped and spoke fluent Italian). His surprising confession in 1925 that he was Italian presented complications in a nation that was then ruled by Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party

Read the entire article and watch the trailer here.

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The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, was very proud of his Irish roots

Posted in Articles, Biography, Europe, Media Archive on 2016-06-04 23:57Z by Steven

The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, was very proud of his Irish roots

Irish Central

Niall O’Dowd, Founder

Muhammad Ali arrives at Turnpike Road in Ennis, County Clare, the location of the birthplace of his great grandfather Abe O’Grady, with his wife Yolanda (lonnie) right, in 2009. Photo by: Photocall Ireland/Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

The death of boxing legend Muhammad Ali at 74 from Parkinson’s will bring back many glorious memories of the greatest athlete of our times.

At his height Ali was the most graceful, talented and brilliant heavyweight boxers who ever stepped inside the ropes.

Though incapacitated by Parkinson’s in later life, he always managed to retain the star power and unique presence that always distinguishes the greatest…

…Ali was more than a boxer of course, he was a fighter who refused to become cannon fodder in the Vietnam War the greatest mistaken war America entered until the invasion of Iraq. He was also a poet, a showman, a lover of many women, a devout Muslim, simply a legend.

Ali’s stance to end the Vietnam War when he refused to be drafted cost us the best years of his sporting life. He came back still a brilliant boxer, but the man who could float like a butterfly could never quite recover that greatness.

Still the fights with Joe Frazier the” rope a dope” that saw him defeat George Foreman in Zaire in the “Rumble in the Jungle” will forever enshrine his name in history.

The astonishing fact that he had Irish roots, being descended from Abe Grady, an Irishman from Ennis, County Clare only became known later in life…

Read the entire article here.

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A Knock Out: A film by Tessa Boerman and Samuel Reiziger

Posted in Arts, Biography, Europe, Gay & Lesbian, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Videos on 2010-03-18 17:51Z by Steven

A Knock Out: A film by Tessa Boerman and Samuel Reiziger

Women Make Movies
Netherlands, 2004
53 minutes
Color, VHS/DVD
Order No. W05882

Boxing champion Michele Aboro grew up in South London, where life for a girl was never easy, let alone for a mixed-race lesbian girl. Thanks to her tenacious spirit and an uncanny talent for combat sports, she put her difficult past behind her and managed to sign a contract with the biggest boxing promoter in Europe. She won all 21 fights, 18 of them with a knockout – an exceptional achievement in women’s boxing. But despite her spectacular record in the ring, her career came to a sudden halt when her promoter broke her contract under the belief that she was not “promotable.”

Refusing to vamp up her image and pose naked in magazines, this undefeated world champion was abandoned by an industry more interested in selling sex than sport. A Knock Out interweaves Aboro’s personal story with interviews with boxers whose wild success strikes a painful contrast with Aboro’s struggles. Searching for logic behind Aboro’s case, this poignant documentary captures a universal story of fighting for one’s identity and offers a probing look at the intersection of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and the increased commercialization of women’s sports.

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