It is 1905. Jim Crow laws segregate African Americans from restaurants, trains, hotels. But one man is fighting for equality, for the chance to stand toe-to-toe with a white man and declare himself a champion. Jay “The Sport” Jackson is the Negro Heavyweight Champion, a boxer from everywhere and nowhere, an ambitious athlete who relishes in the attention and publicity. And now he’s set his sights on Champ Bixby, the retired Heavyweight Champion, a white man who has stepped away from the spotlight. Three people join Jay on his journey to greatness: Max, a white manager/promoter who greases every palm to ensure Jay’s opportunities; Fish, an up-and-coming young black boxer with potential, hired to be Jay’s sparring partner; and Wynton, Jay’s fatherly trainer and guide. Standing in the way of greatness is Jay’s past, including his own sister, who forces Jay to recognize the true impact of his fight, of the racial violence outside of the boxing ring. As he steps into the fight of his life, Jay must reconcile his ambitions with the inevitable hatred and ruthlessness against his race. The Royale is a dynamic and powerful meditation on the history of racism in the United States and how boxing is ultimately a symbol for the fight of Jay’s life.
The Royale guide sections