This week is a historic moment in terms of “righting a wrong” committed 100 years ago towards the first black heavyweight in Boxing history, Jack Johnson. Sugar Barons, No Mas, and Barking Irons are hosting a screening of Ken Burns’ Unforgivable Blackness in solidarity to appeal for Barack Obama to pardon Jack Johnson.
In 1908, it was called the “Fight of the Century”. It happened in Reno when black heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson defeated Jim Jeffries who was nicknamed the “Great White Hope”. Today, 100 years later, fans from all over the world are having a moment of silence for the fallen hero who was arrested a few years after the famous fight and convicted for transporting a woman across state lines for immoral purposes.
The conviction was seen as unfair, and deeply rooted in racism. His relationships with white women enraged several people in power, and some assume this minor offense was the opportunity to “throw the book at him”. He ended up serving his approximate 1 year sentence in 1920 but his life was never the same… his reputation was forever destroyed from the incident.
There is also a strong rallying effort on a resolution passed by Congress last year to seek a posthumous Presidential pardon. Congress is urging President Barack Obama to issue the pardon.
On the eve of the hundredth 100th Anniversary of Johnson’s defining knockout of James Jefferies, you are invited to a private screening of Ken Burns’ Unforgivable Blackness.
Please join No Mas, Barking Irons, Jauretsi, and Jayson Jackson to celebrate the life of the first African-American Heavyweight Champion of the World and join us in asking the United States to clear his name.
To learn more about Jack Johnson, watch the video:
If you’d like to attend the screening of this documentary, you must RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be giving away 10 of these docs to some lucky guests.