The Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling refer to two separate fights which are among boxing's most talked about fights. Schmeling won the first match by a knockout in round twelve, but in the second match, Louis won through a knockout in the first round. Although the two champions met to create a pugilistic spectacle remarkable on its own terms, the two fights came to embody the broader political and social conflict of the times. As the first significant African American athlete since Jack Johnson, Louis was among the few focal points for African American pride in the 1930s. Moreover, as a contest between representatives of the United States and Nazi Germany during the 1930s, the fights came to symbolize the struggle between democracy and fascism. Louis' performance in the bouts therefore elevated him to the status of the first true African American national hero in the United States.
Famous quotes containing the words max, louis and/or joe:
“Granddaddy used to handle snakes in church. Granny drank strychnine. I guess you could say I had a leg up, genetically speaking.”
—Wesley Strick, U.S. screenwriter, and Martin Scorsese. Max Cady (Robert DeNiro)
“To make our idea of morality centre on forbidden acts is to defile the imagination and to introduce into our judgments of our fellow-men a secret element of gusto.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson (18501894)
“This might be the end of the world. If Joe lost we were back in slavery and beyond help. It would all be true, the accusations that we were lower types of human beings. Only a little higher than apes. True that we were stupid and ugly and lazy and dirty and, unlucky and worst of all, that God Himself hated us and ordained us to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, forever and ever, world without end.”
—Maya Angelou (b. 1928)