Congressional supporters of a pardon for Jack Johnson, the world's first black heavyweight champion who was imprisoned nearly a century ago for his romantic liaisons with white women, are still pushing for justice, according to the Associated Press.
Johnson, a native of Galveston, Texas, who was known for his flamboyant style of dress, arrogance, charm and ferocity in the ring, sought his own pardon almost 90 years ago. The feisty son of slaves said his prosecution was racially motivated.
In a letter dated March 25, 1921, to U.S. Attorney General Harry Daugherty, Johnson said the prosecutor of his case made "flagrant appeals to passion, race hatred and moral infamies," according to the AP, citing records at the National Archives.
And during his 10 months in prison, Johnson appealed to the president for his release, but Jim Crow had him on the ropes. Daugherty briefly entertained the idea of an early release before informing Johnson on June 28, 1921, that he had to complete his sentence.
Now, in the last session of Congress, both houses passed a resolution urging a pardon pushed by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) "to expunge a racially motivated abuse of the prosecutorial authority of the federal government," according to the AP.
So far the Justice Department's pardon attorney has reportedly told the lawmakers that the resources are best used for pardoning the living. Both plan to request another pardon this year. And while we know that President Barack Obama is busy fighting wars and working on the economy and health care and all of that, we know he would consider signing a 90-year-old pardon if he had time.
Read more at the Associated Press.
In other news: Black Teen Says He Was Bullied With Noose, Chained Up.