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The Boston Globe


Cowan joins effort to pardon boxing great Jack Johnson

WASHINGTON — He was the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion, nicknamed the “Galveston Giant” after his hometown in Texas. But even John Arthur “Jack” Johnson could not fight against the racism of his time when in 1913, he was wrongly convicted on charges of human trafficking for bringing his girlfriend, who was white, across state lines.

On Tuesday a bipartisan coalition of congressmen, including Senator William “Mo” Cowan of Massachusetts, introduced a resolution calling for President Obama to posthumously pardon Johnson.

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