How's it going maniacs? I know not all of us are big boxing fans like myself, but even if you are not you may somewhat understand the significance of the great Jack Johnson.
Jack Johnson was the first ever African American boxing champion. His defensive strategies dominated and revolutionized the sport of boxing. Johnson became heavyweight champion in 1908 when he defeated Canadian Tommy Burns.
Obviously the early 1900's wasn't a very receptive time for black athletes, especially Jack Johnson who on top of being an incredible fighter, was an extremely flashy and in-your-face type of character...oh yeah and he had a thing for white girls, so that didn't help.
A funny story about Johnson that shows his cocky demeanor was the time a police officer pulled him over for speeding. The officer charged him $50 for the crime. Johnson handed the officer a $100 bill, when the officer went to give Johnson his change back, Johnson responded "keep it, I'm coming back this way."
White America highly disapproved of Johnson and his actions and set out a quest to find the next "Great White Hope" to defeat Johnson. After Johnson successfully defeated 3 white hopes, many were outraged and they pressured former undefeated champion Jim Jefferies to come out of retirement and challenge Johnson.
While Jefferies was champion, he refused to take on Johnson because it was uncommon for blacks to challenge for the title, but 6 years later admist the outrage of Johnson, Jefferies came out of retirement and fought Johnson in a fight billed as "Fight of the Century."
Johnson would defeat Jefferies in the 15th round after Jefferies's corner threw in the tale.
If no white man was going to defeat Johnson, it was gonna take the United States government to stop him. In 1912, Johnson had been arrested for violating the Mann Act for his relationship with soon-to-be wife Lucille Cameron. Cameron decided not to cooperate with the case and it fell apart, but this was not the end of the legal drama.
Later, a prostitute Belle Schreiber would testify against Johnson claiming their relationship violated the Mann Act. Even with the past failure in prosecuting Johnson, this time they were able to get him as he was convicted and sentenced to one year in prison for an obviously racially motivated and unfair conviction.
For a more detailed piece on Johnson, check out my article: http://www.fightsaga.com/news/item/3067-Jack-Johnson-Presidential-Pardon-Senators-McCain-and-Reid-Fight-Seek-to-Revise-History
So, what can we do to change this? Well, thanks to some Civil Rights activists, a proposal is in the works in which has gained support from US senators John McCain and Harry Reid, along with filmmaker Ken Burns, and Boxing legends Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis in which is petitioning President Barrack Obama to pardon the great champion, although Johnson died in 1946, the pardon would mean a great deal to the American public in pardoning a truly brave and historical figure.
If you'd like to sign up, here is a link: http://www.change.org/petitions/president-barack-obama-pardon-boxing-legend-jack-johnson This specific petition was put together by Mike Tyson!