Monday, 17 December, 2018

Donald Trump pardons black boxing champion Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson  Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons Jack Johnson Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons
Rita Gibson | 26 May, 2018, 01:33

"I believe that Jack Johnson is a very worthy person to receive a full pardon, and in this case, a posthumous pardon", the president said, with Jackson's family members and Stallone surrounding him.

Trump has cleared Johnson's name more than 100 years after what many see as his racially charged conviction.

Stallone called Johnson the inspiration for "Apollo Creed" in the Rocky films.

Trump tweeted last month that he would consider pardoning Johnson after receiving a call from Stallone, who, according to the president, had explained the fighter's "complex and controversial" life.

"Today as president, I've issued an executive grant of clemency, a full pardon, posthumously to John Arthur Jack Johnson", Trump said.

Jackson, who was born in Galveston on March 31, 1878, died on June 10, 1946 in Franklinton, N.C. of injuries he suffered in a auto crash.

"He's truly an inspirational character", he said.

Johnson's real crime was flaunting his relationship with white women at a time where racial segregation and racial tensions were the order of the day.

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More than a century after an unfair and racially-motivated prison sentence was brought down on one of America's foremost athletes, justice has finally been served.

The pardon of Johnson was the fourth of Trump's term.

Johnson's outsized personality was on display near nightly - with white women on his arm - on Chicago's club scene, including at his own Cafe de Champion near 31st Street and Wells. Around the same time, the U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation into Johnson for allegedly violating the recently signed Mann Act, which 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 purpose"-a vaguely worded law that made it possible to prosecute black men for interracial relationships".

Several efforts were made over the years to win a presidential pardon for Johnson, but none was successful.

"To the president, Mr. Stallone said, 'It's incredible you've done this.' Sen".

The resolutions had support of many including the Congressional Black Caucus, Trump continued, scolding, "but they couldn't get the president to sign it ... as recently as 2015". Then-Senator Harry Reid, Senator John McCain, and Representatives Peter King and Gregory Meeks all petitioned Barack Obama's White House administration for the pardon.

Ms Haywood said: "By this pardon being issued, that would help to rewrite history and erase the shame and the humiliation that my family felt for my uncle, a great hero". President George W. Bush pardoned Charles Winters, an American volunteer in the Arab-Israeli War convicted of violating the U.S. Neutrality Acts in 1949.

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