Trump Considering Pardon For First Black Heavyweight Boxing Champion

The Rocky actor has asked Donald Trump to pardon the late Jack Johnson, jailed for travelling over state lines with a white woman.

In 1908, #Jack Johnson became the first black heavyweight boxing champion in the world.

Seen by many at the time as the "Great White Hope," Jeffries threw in the towel in round 15 of 45 as Johnson toyed with him in front of 15,000 boxing fans in Reno, Nevada. Most of the victims were black.

He was charged with transporting a white woman across state lines for "immoral purposes".

Johnson, who died in 1946, was convicted by an all-white jury in Chicago in 1913 of violating the Jim Crow-era White-Slave Traffic Act, that was meant to prevent and punish human trafficking and was used on Johnson for traveling with a white woman. "The Mann Act purported to prevent human trafficking for the objective of prostitution, but critics have argued it was applied inconsistently to criminalize African Americans and those with dissenting political views". Johnson was flashy like Mayweather and flaunted his money and wealth and white women in the face of white people. It took the all-white jury less than two hours to convict him.

American boxer Jack Johnson poses for a portrait circa 1900.

As the Ken Burns documentary, Unforgivable Blackness, noted, "For more than 13 years, Jack Johnson was the most famous, and the most notorious, African-American on Earth". He lost his title in a fight in Havana, Cuba, in 1915.


Johnson returned to the U.S.in 1920 to serve his sentence and was released almost one year later.

Johnson, a boxing legend and major figure in 20th-century sports, bucked racial barriers and racism until his death in 1946.

Activists and family members have long advocated for Johnson's posthumous pardon, as have USA officials like Sen. John McCain, along with Reps.

In 2016, a group of congressmen - including Sen.

"While it is unfortunate that this unjust conviction was not corrected during the boxer's lifetime, a posthumous pardon today represents the opportunity to reaffirm Jack Johnson's substantial contributions to our society and right this historical wrong", the senators wrote in a letter to Obama.

Posthumous pardons are rare... and Trump is a proven flake, so we won't hold our breath on this promise. Peter King and Gregory Meeks sought a pardon. Cory Booker joined the group in March 2017. "Regardless of this decision passing each chambers of Congress a number of occasions lately, no pardon has been issued up to now".


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