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Philadelphia's Boxing Heritage

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12/18/2006 Archived Entry: "Author Kevin Smith finds 'The Sundowners' their place in History"

Author Kevin Smith finds 'The Sundowners' their place in History

Sundowners (30k image)

BOSTON, December 18, 2006—Kevin Smith has been studying and writing about the history of the black pugilist for close to 15 years. The Sundowners: The History of the Black Prizefighter 1870-1930, a 640 page biographical encyclopedia of boxing's black practitioners, is the result. A subject that has been largely ignored by sports historians for decades, the history of the black boxer is in many ways the history of race relations in America.

"Sports have always been a mirror of our culture," stated Smith, "and the treatment that black fighters have received throughout the course of prizefighting' s long history has always reflected society's ever changing views on race and exclusion."

What started in 1992 as simply a curious mission to locate information on the great Peter Jackson, the West Indian heavyweight fighter who was denied his chance at boxing glory during the late 19th century, quickly turned into a passion-and then into the Caramel Colored Kings: The History of the Black Prizefighter, Smith's overall body of work which when completed, will cover the entire history of the black boxer, from 1760-1930.

"I wanted to create a readable reference work," stated Smith "something centered around black pugilists who, like Jackson, were in essence shut out of championship competition by their white counterparts and in many cases, basically excluded from competing all together. Most of these men have become footnotes in the annals of boxing history, or worse still, simply forgotten. I wanted to change that, if not only for the reason that these men deserve to have their place in our written history, their careers re-lived and their deeds re-told".

In 2003, Smith released the widely acclaimed Black Genesis: The History of the Black Prizefighter from 1760-1870, the first volume of his Caramel Colored Kings project. The Sundowners is his follow-up effort.

"I think boxing fans and anyone interested in African-American history, or just history for that matter, will find this book fascinating. This is not simply another boxing encyclopedia filled with rehashed information. Most of what is included within the pages of The Sundowners will be found to be fresh and new, even to some of the more serious boxing historians out there."

The Sundowners: The History of the Black Prizefighter 1870-1930 is available for sale at .

If you would like more information on The Sundowners, or would like to schedule an interview with Kevin Smith, please contact Samantha Rose at bxrpriz@aol. com .

About the Author

Kevin Smith was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a boxing historian and author who has researched the history of the black prizefighter for over 15 years. The founder of the Historical Society for Black Prizefighters, Smith has served as a consultant for the History Channel, the British Broadcasting Company, the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery (London) and PBS as well as the International Boxing Hall of Fame and several historical societies nationwide.

A member of the International Boxing Research Organization, Smith has written two previous books on boxing, Boston's Boxing Heritage, (2002) and Black Genesis: The History of the Black Prizefighter 1760-1870, (2003), the first volume in his Caramel Colored Kings series. Smith currently resides just north of Boston with his wife Dennise, and three children, Aevary, Samantha and Rowan.

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