Upcoming UNCA lecture will explore race, religion and boxing in New South

Press release

From UNC Asheville News Services

Arthur Remillard, a scholar of religion in the American South and its connections with sports, will deliver UNC Asheville’s annual Sam Hill Lecture in Southern Religion. Remillard’s talk, “Jack Johnson, We Have Waited So Long for You – Religion, Race and Boxing in the New South,” takes place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 18 in the Sherrill Center, Mountain View Room.

Remillard will examine the very different reactions white and black Southerners had to the rise and fall of Jack Johnson, who in 1908 became the first black heavyweight boxing champion. Johnson, known for his disregard for the color bar, maintained relationships with white women and touched off fiery debates over race at the height of the Jim Crow era.

Remillard, associate professor of religious studies at Saint Francis University, is writing a book titled “God and Games in Dixieland: Religion and the Making of the South’s Modern Sports World, 1865-1945.” He also is the author of “Southern Civil Religions: Imagining the Good Society in the Post-Reconstruction Era” (University of Georgia Press, 2011), which was co-winner of the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Award from the Florida Historical Society.

The Sam Hill Lecture in Southern Religion, sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, honors Sam Hill, one of the founding fathers of Southern religious studies. A distinguished scholar and long-time professor at the University of Florida, Hill is now retired and lived until recently in Black Mountain, N.C.

For more information, contact the Department of Religious Studies at 828/250-2397.


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