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Hmmm, early 20th century, a Black man semingly treated with respect, I'll go with Jack Johnson, 
the first Black heavyweight boxing champ and possibly the first Black man in America to openly date white women..

From Wikipedia:
Johnson finally won the world heavyweight title on December 26, 1908, when he fought the Canadian world champion 
Tommy Burns in Sydney, after stalking Burns around the world for two years and taunting him in the press for a match. 
The fight lasted fourteen rounds before being stopped by the police in front of over 20,000 spectators. The title was 
awarded to Johnson on a referee's decision as a T.K.O, but he had clearly beaten the champion.

After Johnson's victory over Burns, racial animosity among whites ran so deep that Jack London called out for 
a "Great White Hope" to take the title away from Johnson. 

In 1910, former undefeated heavyweight champion James J. Jeffries came out of retirement and said, "I feel obligated to 
the sporting public at least to make an effort to reclaim the heavyweight championship for the white race. . . . I should step 
into the ring again and demonstrate that a white man is king of them all."[3] Jeffries had not fought in six years and had to 
lose weight to get back to his championship fighting weight.[4]

The fight took place on July 4, 1910 in front of 20,000 people, at a ring built just for the occasion in downtown Reno, Nevada. 
Johnson proved stronger and more nimble than Jeffries. In the 15th round, after Jeffries had been knocked down twice for the 
first time in his career, his people called it quits to prevent Johnson from knocking him out.

The "Fight of the Century" earned Johnson $65,000 and silenced the critics, who had belittled Johnson's previous victory
over Tommy Burns as "empty," claiming that Burns was a false champion since Jeffries had retired undefeated.

Riots and aftermath
The outcome of the fight triggered race riots that evening, from Texas and Colorado to New York and Washington, D.C. 
Johnson's victory over Jeffries had dashed white dreams of finding a "great white hope" to defeat him. Many whites felt 
humiliated by the defeat of Jeffries.[clarification needed][1]

Blacks, on the other hand, were jubilant, and celebrated Johnson's great victory as a victory for racial advancement.

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