After a lifetime of boxing the world, “the Galveston Giant, John Arthur Johnson born March 31, 1878 – d. June 10, 1946), was posthumously pardoned 105 years after being arrested on charges of violating the Mann Act—forbidding one to transport a woman across state lines for “immoral purposes”—a racially motivated charge that embroiled him in controversy for his relationships, including marriages, with white women. There were also allegations of domestic violence. Sentenced to a year in prison, Johnson fled the country and fought boxing matches abroad for 7 years until 1920: he served his sentence at Levenworth federal penitentiary. Johnson was posthumously pardoned by President Donald Trump (May, 2018 pardoned Johnson posthumously after 105 years.) Jack Johnson was an American boxer who, at the height of the Jim Crow era, became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion (1908–1915). Among the period’s most dominant champions, Johnson remains a boxing legend, with his 1910 fight against James J. Jeffries dubbed the “ fight of the century.” According to filmmaker Ken Burns, “for more than thirteen years, Jack Johnson was the most famous and the most notorious African-American on Earth”. He became part of the history of racism in America. In 1912, Johnson opened a successful and luxurious “black and tan” (desegregated) restaurant and nightclub, in part run by his white wife. Major newspapers of the time soon claimed that Johnson was attacked by the government only after he became famous as a black man married to a white woman. Johnson continued taking paying fights for many years, and operated other businesses, including lucrative endorsement deals. Died in car crash: June 10, 1946 at 68; buried: Graceland Cemetery. [104 fights; 73 wins; 40 KO’s; 13 losses; 10 draws; 5 No contests; Jack Johnson quote: “My name is Jack Johnson. I’m heavyweight champion of the world. I’m Black. They never let me forget it. I’m Black all right. I’ll never let them forget it.” [jgp-“What time is it? Time for people to stop hating—judging people by skin color? Time for hearts to change; for more young Black people to finish college, be prepared for better jobs and influence changing the system through education? Isn’t it time for our young men and women to structure family lives for welfare of children? Isn’t it time to decrease prison populations; stop locking up people unjustly and administering harsher punishment due to discrimination. Isn’t it time for the social dynamics of the prison system to change? Isn’t it time for the United States society to educate instead of imprisonate; arrest the constipated system through education, curb its appetite, flush out the prisons! Isn’t it time to increase education budgets and cut budgets for building prisons and housing inmates?
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