President Donald Trump has pardoned African American heavyweight boxer, Jack Johnson.
“Today I’ve issued an executive grant of clemency, a full pardon, posthumously, to John Arthur ‘Jack’ Johnson. The first African-American heavyweight champion of the world, a truly great fighter. Had a tough life,” President Trump said. -CNN
Jack Johnson nicknamed the ‘Galveston Giant’, was an American boxer who, at the height of the Jim Crow era, became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion. He broke the color barrier in boxing in 1908.
Johnson was at the height of his career, when in 1913, under the Mann Act, he was convicted for traveling with his white girlfriend across state lines for “immoral” purposes. Although the Mann Act was put in place to prevent human trafficking, it was often used to criminalize African Americans.
Johnson served seven years in exile in Canada, Europe, and Mexico during World War I before returning to serve his year sentence at Leavenworth prison in Kansas. Jack Johnson died in an automobile accident in 1946.