A highlight from BOX326: A Weird, Bloody, Tired Dance
There's a link that's cleverly titled webby voting great job by the way. Thank you so much so welcome. You are gonna go first this episode right. If you don't mind now absolutely that's fine. I just. I have a question for you. What do you got for me. What what what you. Yeah we got an email from somebody saying that. They were greatly disappointed that jethro has been letting us down and not playing. The what you got for me jingle and katz here for yeah i was i we sternly reprimanded by the curator for that so can just wanted to make sure that i didn't screw up again so there you go seriously. What do you have for me. I have the amazing story of a guy named eugene bullard. Eugene was born on october ninth. Eighteen ninety five in the town of columbus georgia. His family had a history of tough breaks and bad luck even worse he was the descendant of slaves native americans. Enduring these days. He was forced to live under. Jim crow allies Which was not a good thing he would later. Say that it felt. He felt the presence of racism like quote a growing growing virus at one point when he was very young man his father had to flee a lynch mob that came and raided their house. Jeez so nineteen. Six eugene was eleven or twelve years old and he decided that he was just gonna run away from home. He'd later say he left because he wanted to find a place where quote white people treated. Colored people like human beings. He sold his pet goat for a dollar fifty. Oh my god and he hit the road and that one dollar fifty was all he had in his pockets. I'm sorry you said he was eleven eleven or twelve. He'd spend the next few years this kind of roaming about the south picking up odd jobs here and there staw and he started to hear stories though about the way that people in europe treated african americans and that it was different than the way that the citizens of the united states treated him so in nineteen twelve. He decided he was going to move to europe. Just a kid you can imagine. This was a pretty big decision for young man in a situation. Like this He took a train to virginia and there he found a german freighter named the marta. And he stowed away on the freighter. My goodness the ship was heading heading to hamburg germany. It only been a few days out on the open seas and he was discovered by the crew but they were sympathetic because he was a baby and they they allowed him to work off his passage on the way over. They gave him a job. You you do this and we'll call it good. that's incredible. He landed in scotland immediately. Found out that he'd been told about. The people in europe was true. He'd later say that they treated him quote just like one of their own. He felt like he'd been born into a new world. He started out with a series of odd jobs. Just to make ends meet. One of those jobs was cleaning. A boxing gymnasium. Had once again. I'm just going to point out that you and i have some sort of weird okay. Rain connection please continue as he worked at. The jimmy became a little bit curious about the sport. Thought he'd pick it up for himself kidding me so so we started soon. Started making a name for himself as a boxer he actually became a serious contender for the welterweight championship belt. On at this point bullard had heard all these stories about france and that was where he wanted to go in one thousand nine hundred thirteen. He had his chance he along with other. Boxers went to paris to compete in a match when his fellow boxers left to go back to scotland he stayed in france and he knew that he had found a home. He was amazed to learn that. Even white americans visiting france treated him as an equal. He was there for about a year when europe was plunged into world war one in the summer of nineteen fourteen at the age of nineteen. He enlisted in the french. foreign legion. almost immediately proved himself on the battlefield and in one thousand nine hundred sixteen. He was transferred to the regular french. Army his fellow soldiers nicknamed him the black swallow. He fought in many bloody grueling battles including the battle of verdone and there.