My Lord, What a Morning by William Waring Cuney

O my Lord
What a morning,
O my Lord,
What a feeling,
When Jack Johnson
Turned Jim Jeffries’
Snow-white face
to the ceiling.


‘My Lord, What a Morning’ was written by William Waring Cuney about the day Jack Johnson defeated James Jeffries, a leading white fighter, who came out of retirement to try to take the heavyweight championship back from Johnson. News of Jeffries’s defeat ignited numerous incidents of white violence against black people. However, William Waring Cuney captured the exuberant African American reaction in this poem.

Find out more about The Royale, a new play loosely inspired by the life and times of Jack Johnson, by clicking here.

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