Pardon the Interracial Interruption

Amid the backlash from all the bungling this week on Capitol Hill, one interesting item slipped through the cracks: Last Friday, the House of Representatives recommended that Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, “should be granted a presidential pardon for a racially motivated conviction 75 years ago that blemished his reputation and hurt his boxing career” (read more at ESPN); Johnson, who was convicted of violating the Mann Act, which outlawed the transportation of women across state lines for immoral purposes, was the cover story of our Boxing Issue, released in 2005 (click here to read an excerpt of our interview with Ken Burns in support of his film about Johnson, Unforgivable Blackness). Now forgivable!