Labor, Boxers And Lawmakers Fight For Jack Johnson Pardon

06.04.05 - (Washington, D.C.) Ė Lawmakers, labor unions and professional boxers will join together on Wednesday, April 6, on Capitol Hill to call on the Bush administration to issue a full pardon for former Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson. As the first African American heavyweight champion of the world, Johnson earned the respect of fighters and fans alike for his courage and determination both inside and outside the ring.. During the height of Johnsonís career, he was convicted under the Mann Act in 1913 for transporting a white woman across state lines. Although the arbitrary nature of his conviction is well documented in history, it has served to push his legacy to near obscurity.

Acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns brought Johnsonís story to the American public with his groundbreaking documentary, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, which aired on PBS in January 2005.

WHAT: Press Conference

WHO: Jim Hoffa, General President, Teamsters Union

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL)

Rep. Peter King, (R-NY)

Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, President, Joint Association of Boxers

Hasim Rahman, Former WBC, IBF and IBO Heavyweight Champion

Iran Barkley, Former WBB Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight and Super Middleweight Champion

Richard Steele, Referee Member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame

Kelly Swanson, Committee to Pardon Jack Johnson

WHERE: The Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2255

Washington, DC

WHEN: Wednesday, April 6, 2005

1:00 p.m.

Article posted on 06.04.2005

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