Trump pardons late, great boxer Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion

Jack Johnson the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion

"The pardon announced today helps correct an injustice experienced by Jack Johnson". The law made it a felony to transport across state lines "any woman or girls for the goal of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral objective". The president went on to outline how Johnson violated the Mann Act during a time in USA history when tensions were high between white people and African Americans.

"He was the undertaker in town, and as they carried Jack away, he wrote this epitaph: He drove too far, too fast, too long".

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and former senator Harry Reid, D-Nevada, along with U.S. Reps.

Sylvester Stallone and others had sought clemency for the pugilistic legend.

In light of these facts and in recognition of his historic athletic achievements and contributions to society, the President believes Jack Johnson is worthy of a posthumous pardon.

"For so long, my family was deeply ashamed that my uncle went to prison", she told Trump.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Trump granted the rare posthumous pardon on Thursday at a ceremony in the Oval Office. "We have to remain optimistic, moving forward, and do something important with this to continue to effect change".

"I get stage fright", Stallone joked.

" Even though it's nearly 100 years too late, finally, justice has been served. It was an awesome moment to be there".

USA prosecutors argued that Johnson's relationship with Lucille Cameron was a "crime against nature", and an all-white jury took less than two hours to convict him. His reign included his knockout in 1910 of the so-called Great White Hope, former champion James J. Jeffries, which prompted race riots in dozens of USA cities.

Under a blazing sun on July 4 in the most eagerly anticipated fight ever, it was no contest. Johnson ultimately defeated Jeffries in a lopsided match, retaining his title in a fight whose outcome sparked race riots throughout the United States. So what are the facts of Johnson's case that have earned him a spot in this trio?

Johnson was the first black heavyweight champion of the world.

There was violence across the nation that night as angry whites clashed with fearful blacks.

He was charged with violating the 1910 Mann Act, a so-called moral purity law that made it illegal to transport women across state lines for "immoral" purposes.

The road now known as South Main Street presents a driver with several curves and dips, which Johnson's Zephyr took at an estimated 80 miles per hour.

The color of his skin determined how he was treated. However, all Johnson did was travel with his white girlfriend, Lucille Cameron - yet he was still convicted.

Johnson died in 1946, after angrily speeding away from a diner in North Carolina that either refused to serve black people or tried to force him to sit outside.

After Johnson had won the heavyweight title in 1908, many in white society advocated for a white fighter to step up and win the title back.

"My people have been through so much through the years but we've always been strong people", Wilder said. "It might not benefit him but his family is overwhelmed by it".

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