EPISODE 27 Jack Johnson (Part 2): The Fight

“And it was fast cars and whiskey
Long legged girls and fun
I had everything that money could bring
And I took it all with a gun”

— from the song I’ve Never Picked Cotton

“Johnson did not care. He had no use for the bourgeois values of thrift and respectability.” —Randy Roberts

“You don’t catch Jim Jeffries losing to a colored man.” — Jim Jeffries

“Quite conceivably there had never been a more important athletic event in American history.” — Randy Roberts 

“Even those who have an absurdly exaggerated horror of prize fighting as a ‘brutal’ sport should gently warm in their sensitive minds a little hope that the white man may not lose, while the rest of us will wait in open anxiety the news that he has licked the—well, since it must be in print, let us say the negro, even though it is not the first word that comes to the tongue’s tip.” — New York Times

By 1900, the federal government had long abandoned Reconstruction, and white supremacy was returning to the South with a vengeance. Jim Crow was in full swing. Segregation was the law of the land. And Fifty years before Jackie Robinson challenged segregation in baseball, there was Jack Johnson. 

Lynching was a weekly event. Any black man in the South not acting subservient could find himself dangling from a tree. Even African American leaders like Booker T. Washington preached that accepting segregation, keeping one’s head down, and working hard were the best options for black people.

Jack Johnson clearly didn’t get the memo.

At this time when simply looking a white man in the eyes, or talking to a white woman, could get one lynched, Jack Johnson made a living beating the hell out of white men in the ring. Living defiantly as if prejudice didn’t exist—he felt—was the best way to defeat racism. 

It would be easy to mistake Jack Johnson’s story simply as a tale of standing up to racism. It’s about that—sure. But it’s also about a lot more. Because as much Jack Johnson stared down white supremacy, he also battled those black people who insisted that he behaved like a hard-working, God-fearing role model. But JJ wasn’t about to trade a cage for another. He wouldn’t be anyone’s puppet. He would have no master telling him how to live—not white ones, but no black ones either. His story is the tale of a man who, in spite of a time and place that would not allow it, was on a defiant quest to be free, and live life on his own terms. 

In this episode:

  • Public Enemy Number One 
  • At home in the integrated criminal underworld 
  • Ladies and fast cars 
  • Jack Johnson’s intellectual side
  • The Great White Hope 
  • Knocking out and befriending Stanley “The Assassin” Ketchel 
  • “I am going into this fight for the sole purpose of proving that a white man is better than a negro.” Jim Jeffries
  • Why the Governor of California prohibited the fight
  • Death threats and attempted poisonings 
  • Jack Johnson’s eerie calm under pressure
    A spectator: “He’ll kill you, Jack.”
    Jack Johnson: “That’s what they all say.” 
  • The verbal fight with Jim Corbett 
  • Triumph and riots in over 50 cities

This episode is sponsored by Flaviar, the world’s largest online club of spirits enthusiasts. Members get a themed tasting box that let you try different spirits before buying a full sized bottle, and access to their Vault which holds a selection of rare and hard to find spirits available to members only. Please, check them out and use the coupon code HISTORY at checkout. 

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

A big thank you for the support to the podcast How It Began: A History of the Modern World by Brad Harris. Brad holds a PhD in history from Stanford University and is the host of a great new podcast focusing the most important scientific, technological and cultural advancements in history. So, please check out his podcast and his website https://howitbegan.com/ 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 26 Jack Johnson (Part 1): Bad To The Bone

Back in the day when you could still pay your ticket on the spot in cash, a cop pulled over Jack Johnson for speeding. 

“Hey boy—said the cop—This is going to cost you $50!”

Johnson handed him $100. The cop tried to protest he didn’t have change, but Johnson waved him off. 

“I will be coming back this same way, and I’ll be driving at the same speed, so I’m just paying you in advance.” 

“His story is one of the great dramas not just of American sports, but of all American history.”
— 
New York Times

 “This fellow Johnson is a fair fighter, but he is a black. And for that reason, I will never fight him.” — Heavyweight Champion Jim Jeffries 

By 1900, the federal government had long abandoned Reconstruction, and white supremacy was returning to the South with a vengeance. Jim Crow was in full swing. Segregation was the law of the land. And Fifty years before Jackie Robinson challenged segregation in baseball, there was Jack Johnson. 

Lynching was a weekly event. Any black man in the South not acting subservient could find himself dangling from a tree. Even African American leaders like Booker T. Washington preached that accepting segregation, keeping one’s head down, and working hard were the best options for black people.

Jack Johnson clearly didn’t get the memo.

At this time when simply looking a white man in the eyes, or talking to a white woman, could get one lynched, Jack Johnson made a living beating the hell out of white men in the ring. Living defiantly as if prejudice didn’t exist—he felt—was the best way to defeat racism. 

It would be easy to mistake Jack Johnson’s story simply as a tale of standing up to racism. It’s about that—sure. But it’s also about a lot more. Because as much Jack Johnson stared down white supremacy, he also battled those black people who insisted that he behaved like a hard-working, God-fearing role model. But JJ wasn’t about to trade a cage for another. He wouldn’t be anyone’s puppet. He would have no master telling him how to live—not white ones, but no black ones either. His story is the tale of a man who, in spite of a time and place that would not allow it, was on a defiant quest to be free, and live life on his own terms. 

In this episode:

  • How a man who would be among the best fighters in the world grew up as a wimp having his sisters protecting him 
  • The color line in boxing 
  • The 1900 Galveston Flood 
  • Joe Choynski: first KOs Jack Johnson and then teaches him how to fight… in jail 
  • JJ’s complicated fascination with white women 
  • The curious story of Saverio Giannone (aka Joe Grim): “I am Joe Grim and I fear no man”
  • Chasing Tommy Burns around the world 
  • Jack Johnson’s defiant smile
  • “Jim Jeffries must emerge from his alpha alpha farm, and remove that golden smile from Jack Johnson’s face. Jeff, it’s up to you. The White Man must be rescued.” — Jack London 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

A big thank you for the support to the podcast How It Began: A History of the Modern World by Brad Harris. Brad holds a PhD in history from Stanford University and is the host of a great new podcast focusing the most important scientific, technological and cultural advancements in history. So, please check out his podcast and his website https://howitbegan.com/ 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 25 Roman History with Mike Duncan

Mike Duncan is one of the pioneers of historical podcasting. His “History of Rome” is iconic. And his current “Revolutions” is equally compelling. In this episode, we sit down to chat about Roman history, Rome in cinema, the inevitable comparisons between Ancient Rome and the United States, the factionalism and corruption that brought down the Republic, the connection between ‘The Walking Dead’ + ‘Game of Thrones’ and Roman history, his upcoming book “The Storm Before the Storm,” and the future of his “Revolutions” podcast. 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

Thank you for www.23andme.com/HOF for sponsoring this episode. With twenty three and me’s genetic service, you can learn what percentage of your DNA comes from places like Italy, Finland, East Asia or Africa! Check them out at www.23andme.com/HOF 

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 24 The Pirate Queen

HOF-Episode-24-ThePirateQueen.jpg

“I never planted wheat and never will, so long as there are other harvests to be reaped with the sword.” —Robert E. Howard (from ‘Beyond the Black River’) 

“In the rough and violent world of seafaring, mariners could not afford to always abide by the niceties of the law or proper etiquette.” —Robert J Anthony

“There is no greater calamity than not knowing what is enough”. —Tao Te Ching

At the very beginning of the 1800s, a Chinese woman went from being employed as a prostitute in the floating brothels close to Canton to becoming the leader of the biggest pirate confederacy in modern history. Despite ending up as one of the most successful pirates ever, little is known about her. Today, we dive into the mystery and explore her story. 

In this episode:

  • The three waves of piracy 
  • Piracy as a family business 
  • The boat people 
  • “People are not born sea bandits, but drift into brigandage because they can no longer support themselves.” Wang Zhiyin governor of Fujian
  • The Tay-Son rebellion 
  • Death by a thousand cuts
  • The seven pirate bosses and the creation of the biggest pirate confederacy in modern history
  • When pirates invite you to join their crew, saying ‘no’ is not an option
  • A pirate’s life for me: opium, prostitutes, gambling, fights
  • The rise of Cheng I Sao, and her saving the Confederacy 
  • Chang Pao 
  • Cheng I Sao’s law: “Off with his head!” 
  • Former prostitute, full time pirate leader and part time shaman
  • Straight out of Game of Thrones: fireboats 
  • Cheng I Sao and the Taoist talent of knowing when to stop

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

This episode is also brought to you by Erik Magraken, a personal injury lawyer and combat sports regulatory lawyer. Please check out his websites at https://combatsportslaw.com/ and http://bc-injury-law.com/ 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 23 The Conquest of Mexico (Part 4): Tenochtitlan Or Bust

“After getting this information, he had the arms, feet, and heads of our unfortunate companions cut off, and sent them round to various towns of our allies and those who had made peace with us, with the message that he did not think one of us would be left alive to return to Texcoco. Then he offered their hearts and blood to his idols.” — Bernal Diaz

Eat the flesh of your brothers, for we are full. You can stuff yourselves with our leftovers.” —Mexica warriors addressing the Spaniards 

“It is better that we should all die fighting in the city than see ourselves in the power of those who would enslave us and torture us for gold.” — From a speech attributed to a Mexica captain 

“The people of the city had to walk upon their dead while others swam or drowned in the waters of that wide lake… so great was their suffering that it was beyond our understanding how they could endure it.” — Hernan Cortes

In the 1500s, two highly militaristic peoples fueled by religious ideologies requiring bloodshed clashed with one another. This is the tale of what happened when a band of Spaniards run into the Mexica (Aztec) empire. By the time the dust will settle, out of the 25 million indigenous inhabitants of Mexico, little over a million will be left standing. 

In this fourth episode:

  • Cortes’ charge at the battle of Otumba 
  • The Tlaxcalan fateful choice
  • Branding POWs in the face with the letter G for Guerra
  • Smallpox was better than any army for the Spaniards
  • Cortes holds a rape auction 
  • The master carpenter Martin Lopez, and his ships sealed with boiling human fat taken from dead Mexica warriors
  • A plot against Cortes ends with a hanging
  • Cortes on top of the pyramid at Xochimilco sees 2,000 canoes coming to kill him 
  • Xicotenga and Led Zeppelin’s Gallows Pole 
  • The siege of Tenochtitlan 
  • Cortes flirting with death 
  • The human sacrifice that gave Bernal Diaz permanent PTSD
  • Eating the plaster off your walls and still fighting on 
  • The city of the dead
  • The Mexica emperor being introduced to the expression “holding the feet to the fire”
  • Ramsay Bolton would have loved both Mexica and Spaniards
  • The aftermath of the Conquest

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get your first three meals free—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

This episode is also brought to you by Skillshare, an online learning community with over fifteen thousand classes in design, business, and more. Skillshare is giving my listeners a month of unlimited access -- absolutely FREE! Go to www.skillshare.com/history to redeem your free month. 

Thank you to Geek Nation Tours, a vacation company which creates tours focusing on geek culture including conventions, movie locations and historical battlefields.
This October, they will be time-traveling to Feudal Japan and the battlefields of Sekigahara…. Join them as they watch Kendo, Kyudo, Iaido, and sword making demonstrations at the Seki Cutlery Festival, visit the most famous Japanese medieval castles, hike through spectacular natural landscapes and of course visit the Sekigahara re-enactment festival where you will see samurai walking the streets in full armor and battling in a commemoration of that singular battle of 1600.

http://geeknationtours.com/tours_post/signature-battlefield-series-feudal-japan-and-the-battlefields-of-sekigahara-2017/

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com and use the code “daniele” at checkout for a discount. 

Please check out www.alphadynamicshealth.com for their line of medicinal mushrooms

Master podcaster Darryl Cooper has created a companion series to go with this particular History on Fire series. Check out his episodes exploring themes of human sacrifice, religion, psychology and much more at http://www.martyrmade.com/ 


My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/