On June 11, 1945, John Arthur ‘Jack’ Johnson, the man who would come to be known as ‘The Galveston Giant’, died in 1946 in a car crash.
The third of nine children, quite remarkably, Jack Johnson would rise to the top of the world when the repressive Jim Crow laws were in full swing in the United States. His individual story… an anomaly of a narrative within racially-segregated society that both amazes and shames to this day.
He was the first Afro American world heavyweight boxing champion holding the title from 1908-1915.
His fight in 1910 against James Jeffries was dubbed the “fight of the century” He was the most famous and most notorious African-American on Earth during his era.
Johnson was 60 when he finally hung up his gloves professionally, finishing with a career record of 73 wins, 13 losses and 10 draws. He died as a result of a traffic collision in Raleigh, North Carolina, at the age of 68. Eight years after his tragic death, in 1954, Johnson was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.
On October 18th, 1912, Johnson was arrested. He was travelling with the white woman who would become his second wife, Lucille Cameron, the tentative Mann Act – which hadn’t yet passed – levelling that the boxer was “transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes.”
On May 24th 2018, The World Boxing Council was present at the ceremony in the White House, in which the President of United States Donald Trump granted a posthumous pardon to Johnson, who was unjustly condemned and jailed 100 years ago.
The dream of Don José Sulaiman, inspired by the wish of Muhammad Ali, was to return his honor and was finally fulfilled.