© 2024 91.9 KVCR

KVCR is a service of the San Bernardino Community College District.

San Bernardino Community College District does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, creed, religion, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

701 S Mt Vernon Avenue, San Bernardino CA 92410
Where you learn something new every day.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Posthumous Pardon For Heavyweight Boxer Jack Johnson A Bipartisan Effort


Some members of Congress have put aside partisan sparring in defense of a legendary fighter. Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Harry Reid are among those calling for a posthumous pardon for the heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. Johnson became the first black man to win that title back in 1908. His next win in 1910 sparked race riots and his relationships with white women added to the controversy.

Here's actor Samuel L. Jackson as Johnson in the 2005 Ken Burns documentary, "Unforgivable Blackness."


CORNISH: Johnson was arrested and convicted by an all-white jury of violating the Mann Act. The law banned taking women across state lines for immoral purpose. Today, lawmakers say that conviction was racially motivated and they've introduced a resolution calling on President Obama to pardon Jack Johnson. It's something they've requested before. In 2009, the Justice Department said its general policy is not to process pardon requests for people who have died. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.