John Arthur Johnson, nicknamed the “Galveston Giant”, was an American boxer who, at the height of the Jim Crow era, became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion.
According to Biography:
As Johnson became a bigger name in the sport of boxing, he also became a bigger target for a white America that longed to see him ruined. For his part, Johnson loved to brandish his wealth and his disdain for racial rules.
He dated white women, drove lavish cars and spent money freely. But trouble was always lurking. In 1912, he was convicted of violating the Mann Act for bringing his white girlfriend across state lines before their marriage. Sentenced to prison, he fled to Europe, remaining there as a fugitive for seven years. He returned to the United States in 1920 and ultimately served out his sentence.
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