SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Public Library will present “Fighting for Respect: Jewish and African American Experiences in the Sport of Boxing” a series to be presented on two consecutive Sundays, Oct. 20 and Oct. 27 at 1:30 p.m. in the library’s Donald B. Palmer Museum.
Arguably the most individualistic of sports, boxing has long served as a vehicle for upward mobility among those for whom prospects were otherwise severely limited. In this respect, a great commonality existed between poor American blacks and poorly educated recent Jewish immigrants, especially during the first half of the twentieth century.
Members of these groups also share a legacy of the hatred and discrimination that confronted them when attempting to use boxing as a means of moving beyond the boundaries of their own insular communities.
On Oct. 20, Joel Plummer, an adjunct professor in the department of Africana Studies at Rutgers University and a history teacher at Plainfield High School, will focus on the roots of boxing within the black community and the difficulties facing those black boxers who were willing to go against white opponents. On Oct. 27, New Jersey documentary film maker James Ford Nussbaum will discuss the much less well known experiences of Jewish boxers in America within the context of a showing of his recently completed documentary, Impact: Jews in Boxing.
This program is free and open to all members of the general public. The Springfield library is located at 66 Mountain Ave. More information about the library and its upcoming programs can be obtained by visiting www.springfieldpubliclibrary.com or by calling 973 276-4930 during regular library hours.