Joe Louis' Light Skin?

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Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Urban Legend
Do you think Joe Louis being fair skinned is one of the things that made whites appreciate him more? Even today lighter skinned black people get more priveleges. It's always been that way. I mean, Jack Johnson was arrogant and did a lot of things to piss folks off but he was also dark. Did Louis' complexion help his case with white America?
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Rosco
You're absolutely right. Even in slavery the light skinned blacks were treated better and worked in the house. But a nigga is still a nigga at the end of the day. Joe was still driven insane by the constant racism he faced and the IRS taking all of his money.
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Entaowed
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Zombies Ate Me
Entaowed wrote
I never thought of that, but it likely helped.  A very dark man would have stimulated fear mre easily, sad as that is.

I grew up in an almost entirely white area, after my folks did white flight when I was tiny-but it was a much better school distriict.  It was years ago when I saw School Daze in the theater, & I had no IDEA about internalized racism making many blacks hate on darker brothers.  This identifying with the oppressors mentality & absorbing the prejudice is a common psychological phenomena.  Yet if you had asked me merely to reason it out, I would be unaware of this, & if anythiung think blacks might look askance at the more "white"/lighter looking folks!

It was not until weel into adulthood that I realized that I am particularly enchanted by (if fit & natural hair) the look of black feminine charms.  I do not know if it is the color per se, except that at least my braiaiaian is conditioned to love what is associated with the classic West African look & lush natural hair & back bend...

Anyway, it is just strange how so many have been able to "segregate" adoring some black heros & celebrities, while maintaining racism, sometimes consciously, often denied & subconscious.
Good post. It seems that a lot of black celebrities try to look more "white" to gain acceptance. Look at Beyonce, blond hair and all.



Jack Johnson was dark, rude, loud, cocky and a big threat, knocking out almost every white man that fought him. With Louis being light skinned, having processed hair and having a reserved personality, i think he helped racist folks get used to the idea.
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Hit Em' Hard
Zombies Ate Me wrote
With Louis being light skinned, having processed hair and having a reserved personality, i think he helped racist folks get used to the idea.
Yea. Ezzard Charles and Floyd Patterson both had white acceptance but were noticeably darker than Louis. Louis likely opened the door for them in that regard.
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Duggerman
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Good posts all around. Louis had Native American in his blood. Also, his grandparents were slaves and one of them was of mixed ancestry.

It's no coincidence that his wife Marva was also light in skin tone. Joe did love Marva, but they were also married because of publicity purposes. Joe marrying an attractive and successful black woman was the complete opposite of Jack Johnson marrying white prostitutes. Joe's PR people did everything in their power to make him an easy pill to swallow for racist white people.

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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Shogun of Harlem
In reply to this post by Urban Legend
Urban Legend wrote
Do you think Joe Louis being fair skinned is one of the things that made whites appreciate him more? Even today lighter skinned black people get more priveleges. It's always been that way. I mean, Jack Johnson was arrogant and did a lot of things to piss folks off but he was also dark. Did Louis' complexion help his case with white America?
I dunno man. I mean, they paid to see him fight and they loved him for that one night against Max Schmeling. Other than that he was still another "nigger" to them. Him being the complexion of a house negro didn't stop the IRS from taking every penny he had now did it?
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Duggerman
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In reply to this post by Zombies Ate Me
Zombies Ate Me wrote
Good post. It seems that a lot of black celebrities try to look more "white" to gain acceptance. Look at Beyonce, blond hair and all.

Can you imagine if Joe Louis went blond like Sisqo? LOL.



That makes me wonder what Joe Louis would have been like in a more modern setting. An earring perhaps?
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Entaowed
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Duggerman
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Yeah. Louis had a lot of support but he said in his autobiography that Billy Conn and Tony Galento were two fighters people were really hoping would beat him. He also said that despite his old age, he was the crowd favorite going into the fight with Marciano. That means that in 1951 the crowd supported the aging black fellow rather than the young up and coming white guy? Wow.

Joe said that his matchmakers were nervous about booking his title defense against John Henry Lewis, another black man. In this fight there was no chance of a white man winning the title, so Joe's handlers thought it would be a dud. Quite the contrary, the fight was one of Louis' biggest gates. That to me showed that people just liked to see Louis fight. And fight he did. He destroyed Lewis in one round.

But he still wasn't off the hook regarding racism, as the IRS and the Golf PGA tour proved. (For those who don't know, Joe was initially barred from playing at a PGA event because he was black. However, he wound up getting the rules changed and from then on, everyone could play at those games. Joe integrated professional golf, something a lot of people don't realize).
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Urban Legend
In reply to this post by Duggerman
Duggerman wrote
Can you imagine if Joe Louis went blond like Sisqo? LOL.



That makes me wonder what Joe Louis would have been like in a more modern setting. An earring perhaps?
LMFAO!! Naw I can't see Joe Louis looking all fruity like Sisqo. An earring, possibly. Bald head? Possibly. He'd also be more open with his interracial love affairs and could be more open with his cockyness. But he'd still be laid back easygoing Joe Louis. He seemed a bit "slow" so that wouldn't change either. Training is different nowadays so he'd probably be a lot bigger therefore I doubt he'd have that trigger fast hand speed but he'd still be a dangerous heavyweight.
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Rosco
Thanks AJ. Now that moist picture of Sisqo is going to haunt me in my dreams.
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Alexander
In reply to this post by Urban Legend
Urban Legend wrote
Do you think Joe Louis being fair skinned is one of the things that made whites appreciate him more? Even today lighter skinned black people get more priveleges. It's always been that way. I mean, Jack Johnson was arrogant and did a lot of things to piss folks off but he was also dark. Did Louis' complexion help his case with white America?
You're on to something.
Barack Obama is a light skinned man.
Coincidence? Not.
Normally a light skinned black man is chosen to demo these things.
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Evolution
I didn't realize how light skinned Joe was until I met him. My father introduced me to him a short while before he died. He was a golden yellow tan color. This picture is about right.



But he looked so worn out and old at the time I met him. I would have guessed that he was an old Native American or Mexican person.

But I'll tell you who was lighter in person than I imagined he'd be: Muhammad Ali.
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Duggerman
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Evolution wrote
But I'll tell you who was lighter in person than I imagined he'd be: Muhammad Ali.
Funny you should say that. Muhammad doesn't appear light to me. He's around my tone, though as he's aged he seems a little lighter. Joe Frazier often said that Ali looked like a "half breed" and was ghostly white. I've always disagreed with that. Ali was lighter than Frazier but not light enough to pass for a biracial person and he certainly wasn't "ghostly" white.
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

It's Dale
In reply to this post by Zombies Ate Me
Zombies Ate Me wrote
Good post. It seems that a lot of black celebrities try to look more "white" to gain acceptance. Look at Beyonce, blond hair and all.

I don't see why they do that. Do white people who try to be black darken their skin? Have Eminem and Justin Timberlake tried to artificially darken their skin color? I don't understand the logic behind this. There can't be a worse case than Michael Jackson. He was a cute kid and good looking man until he got weird on us.

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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Sivul
In reply to this post by Duggerman
Duggerman wrote
Evolution wrote
But I'll tell you who was lighter in person than I imagined he'd be: Muhammad Ali.
Funny you should say that. Muhammad doesn't appear light to me. He's around my tone, though as he's aged he seems a little lighter. Joe Frazier often said that Ali looked like a "half breed" and was ghostly white. I've always disagreed with that. Ali was lighter than Frazier but not light enough to pass for a biracial person and he certainly wasn't "ghostly" white.
Yeah. Ali was a medium brown color. Joe Louis looked like a white man in comparison to Ali.



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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

GatorPurify
In reply to this post by Urban Legend
Urban Legend wrote
Do you think Joe Louis being fair skinned is one of the things that made whites appreciate him more? Even today lighter skinned black people get more priveleges. It's always been that way. I mean, Jack Johnson was arrogant and did a lot of things to piss folks off but he was also dark. Did Louis' complexion help his case with white America?
Very good points. I think this was definitely a factor. Now they all get there wake up call sooner or later, but it definitely plays a factor. Light skinned blacks are sometimes viewed as easier to accept. In my opinion I believe this was a reason why it was easy for people in the dominant society to vote for Barack Obama. I don't see them voting for a brother that's as dark as Wesley Snipes.

Psychologically it works all the way around, even with other black people. A lot of the black bourgeoisie that started in the early 1900's had this type of mentality. Some groups like Jack & Jack and the fraternities like the AKA's wouldn't let you in unless you were light skin. There was even one called the Blue Vein Society (had to be light enough to see the color of your veins).

It still goes onto this day, to some degree. Spike Lee's classic School Daze goes into this. I've heard and read about these things happening in universities. Malcolm X even said in his autobiography that his father would treat him better than his siblings (because he was the only light skin one.)

If you are dark skin you better be non threatening. It has to be one or the other; preferably both. Joe Louis was light skin and non threatening. Will Smith is both (HA HA!! GETTING JIGGY WITH IT!!). Michael Jackson (pre Bad Michael) was brown skinned but he was feminine, so he got a pass. Someone would have to break the mold for the standards to be different.

Staying on music, I have a good example. If Teddy Pendergrass had not had his accident and had broke through to the masses, it could of been a game changer. Teddy was a tall, thick beard, dark skin, brother with a booming baritone. Even  in his concerts he wore athletic shirts and not elaborate clothes usually. Had Teddy broke through, other brothers would of probably gone the masculine route. You look up at the 80's; Michael Jackson and Prince (whom I'm a big fan of both) were the biggest music stars in the world. On the other hand they were among the most feminine. That's no accident.
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Duggerman
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In reply to this post by It's Dale
It's Dale wrote
Zombies Ate Me wrote
Good post. It seems that a lot of black celebrities try to look more "white" to gain acceptance. Look at Beyonce, blond hair and all.

I don't see why they do that. Do white people who try to be black darken their skin? Have Eminem and Justin Timberlake tried to artificially darken their skin color? I don't understand the logic behind this. There can't be a worse case than Michael Jackson. He was a cute kid and good looking man until he got weird on us.

Michael had a skin disease. That's a proven fact. It was even reported in his autopsy and if you google "Michael Jackson vitiligo" you'll see pictures of him where his skin was blotchy. He used white makeup to cover up the spots and even out his skin tone. I feel bad for him in that regard, but I can't defend the plastic surgery.

Muhammad Ali has gotten lighter in recent years. I'd say he's the same complexion as Smokey Robinson. (Smokey is biracial).





GatorPurify wrote
Very good points. I think this was definitely a factor. Now they all get there wake up call sooner or later, but it definitely plays a factor. Light skinned blacks are sometimes viewed as easier to accept. In my opinion I believe this was a reason why it was easy for people in the dominant society to vote for Barack Obama. I don't see them voting for a brother that's as dark as Wesley Snipes.

Psychologically it works all the way around, even with other black people. A lot of the black bourgeoisie that started in the early 1900's had this type of mentality. Some groups like Jack & Jack and the fraternities like the AKA's wouldn't let you in unless you were light skin. There was even one called the Blue Vein Society (had to be light enough to see the color of your veins).

It still goes onto this day, to some degree. Spike Lee's classic School Daze goes into this. I've heard and read about these things happening in universities. Malcolm X even said in his autobiography that his father would treat him better than his siblings (because he was the only light skin one.)

If you are dark skin you better be non threatening. It has to be one or the other; preferably both. Joe Louis was light skin and non threatening. Will Smith is both (HA HA!! GETTING JIGGY WITH IT!!). Michael Jackson (pre Bad Michael) was brown skinned but he was feminine, so he got a pass. Someone would have to break the mold for the standards to be different.

Staying on music, I have a good example. If Teddy Pendergrass had not had his accident and had broke through to the masses, it could of been a game changer. Teddy was a tall, thick beard, dark skin, brother with a booming baritone. Even  in his concerts he wore athletic shirts and not elaborate clothes usually. Had Teddy broke through, other brothers would of probably gone the masculine route. You look up at the 80's; Michael Jackson and Prince (whom I'm a big fan of both) were the biggest music stars in the world. On the other hand they were among the most feminine. That's no accident.
Right on, man. Do you think it works the same way in other sports? Michael Jordan is pretty dark complected. What if he were playing in earlier eras? Do you feel he'd have the same worldwide impact?
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Re: Joe Louis' Light Skin?

Michelle
In reply to this post by It's Dale
What a history lesson! I hadn't realized any of this. I knew light skinned African Americans were treated a little better during slavery but I thought that was the extent of it. I really learned something here.

Joe Louis was one sexy stud of a man though. OMG!








It's Dale wrote
Zombies Ate Me wrote
Good post. It seems that a lot of black celebrities try to look more "white" to gain acceptance. Look at Beyonce, blond hair and all.

I don't see why they do that. Do white people who try to be black darken their skin? Have Eminem and Justin Timberlake tried to artificially darken their skin color? I don't understand the logic behind this. There can't be a worse case than Michael Jackson. He was a cute kid and good looking man until he got weird on us.

@Dale. Leave Michael Jackson alone.

@Zombies Ate Me. I didn't know Beyonce was trying to be white. Its a shame because her real looks are beautiful. She doesn't need to "lighten up." She almost looks like Mariah Carey there.
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