Mudcat Café message #3907983 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #150708   Message #3907983
Posted By: GUEST
25-Feb-18 - 10:54 PM
Thread Name: rebellion and protest in John Henry
Subject: RE: rebellion and protest in John Henry
Stephen,
Regarding what motivated John Henry, you are right that pride in his strength and skill could have been the reason. But rather than John Henry's motivation, what I am primarily interested in is what he symbolized to African Americans. Did he see himself as fighting for racial equality? Maybe not. But I've found a good bit of evidence that--whatever his motivations--John Henry was a symbol of racial resistance and protest in the eyes of his fellow African Americans.

The boxer Jack Johnson did not try to be or see himself as a symbol of racial equality (at least not initially), but his black fans sure did.