As a boxer, Joe Louis united the nation when he defeated German boxer Max Schmeling for the heavyweight championship of the world and in the process becoming one of the nation’s first African-American heroes. Sports Illustrated honored Detroit’s hometown hero by commissioning this sculpture located across from the Hart Plaza. The fist sculpture was dedicated on October 16, 1986.
Did you know that in 1952, Joe Louis also helped break the color line in professional golf when he was invited to participate in a PGA golf tournament?
Source : Michigan Every Day.
For a picture see “Fist of a Champion : Detroit’s Monument to Joe Louis”
Also check out Joe Louis Wikipedia Entry
Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink by David Margolick (Alfred A. Knopf) – Set against the politically charged 1930s and the rise of Nazi Germany, this book explores the two historic boxing matches between Detroiter Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. Louis’ crushing victory in the 1938 rematch, only after his stunning defeat in 1936, shattered the myth of Aryan racial supremacy, reverberated throughout the world and provided an impetus for the nascent U.S. civil rights movement. MSU users can also access the book online.