In celebration of Black History Month 2018, Radio One Detroit is highlighting Detroit landmarks that have had an impact on black history!
The Joe Louis Fist
One of Detroit’s more popular monuments, The Monument to Joe Louis, also known as “The Fist”, sits in Detroit’s Hart Plaza facing The Detroit River and Canada.
The Fist was dedicated by Sports Illustrated Magazine on October 16, 1986 to represent the impact of boxer Joe Louis’ punch inside and outside the ring. Not only was Joe Louis an amazing boxer but he also spent a lot of his time fighting social injustice and Jim Crow Laws.
Joseph Louis Barrow was born on May 13, 1914 in Chambers County, Alabama. Joe and his family later moved to Detroit after racial tensions in Alabama.
Joe spent a lot of his younger years at a local recreation center in Detroit and made his boxing debut in 1932 at the age of 17. He reportedly used the name “Joe Louis” so his mother would not find out. Louis went on to have a successful career, winning 66 out of his total 69 fights.
Louis passed in April 12, 1981 but his legacy still lives on. He held the title of heavyweight from 1937-1949 and is the second longest heavyweight champion title holder.