Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champ, was convicted of transporting a white woman across state lines for 'immoral purposes.'
Undated publicity photo / AP
Fans and family of Jack Johnson, boxing's first black heavyweight champion, are turning to YouTube to convince President Barack Obama to posthumously pardon his 1913 conviction for accompanying a white woman across state lines.
Jack Johnson, nicknamed the "Galveston Giant" after his Texas hometown, was at the center of racial tensions after winning the title in 1908. When he defended his title by defeating white boxer Jim Jeffries in 1910, dubbed the "Fight of the Century," the victory sparked deadly race riots across the county.
Three years later, Johnson was convicted by an all-white jury for violating a law that made it illegal to transport white women across state lines for "immoral purposes." He was sentenced to a year in prison.