A Conversation with Randy Roberts

On March 21, 2024, Humanities Texas will host a conversation with Randy Roberts titled "The Galveston Giant: Jack Johnson and the Era of White Hopes." In 1908, Jack Johnson became the first Black heavyweight champion of the world. He defied the strictures of Jim Crow America and crushed a number of "white hopes" who sought to reclaim the title. Roberts, distinguished professor of history at Purdue University and Johnson’s biographer, will recount the champion's remarkable rise from the streets of Galveston to become one of the most famous and reviled sports figures of his era.

This program will be moderated by Aram Goudsouzian, professor of history at the University of Memphis, and will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

Thursday, March 21, 2024
7:00–8:15 p.m. CT

This live, virtual event is free and open to the public. Please register online to attend. You will receive a Zoom link via email prior to the virtual event.

Randy Roberts

Randy W. Roberts earned his BA from Mansfield University in 1972, his MA from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 1973, and his PhD from Louisiana State University in 1978. He has been at Purdue University since 1988 and currently serves as both 150th Anniversary Professor and Distinguished Professor of History. In 2015-2016, he held the Charles Boal Ewing Chair in Military History at the United States Military Academy West Point. He is the winner of several national book awards and is a four-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in biography for his books on Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson, John Wayne, and Joe Louis.

Aram Goudsouzian

Aram Goudsouzian is the Bizot Family Professor of History at the University of Memphis, where he teaches courses on the civil rights movement, the modern United States, and the history of American sports, as well as survey courses on African American history and the United States since 1877. He has served as department chair and as director of the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities. Along with Jaime Schultz, he is the editor of the Sport and Society series published by the University of Illinois Press.