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Since 2004, elected officials from both the Republican and Democratic parties have pushed for a pardon. Led by Senators Harry Reid and John McCain alongside Congressmen Gregory Meeks and Peter King, they’ve crossed party aisles in the fight to clear Johnson’s name. Former President George W. Bush rebuffed the pardon and President Obama has done the same.

Obama’s lack of action on the Johnson pardon angered McCain and sparked an impassioned plea from Meeks, as both feel that the first Black president of the United States should make the symbolic gesture and clear the blemish from Johnson’s record.

This week, playwright Tommie J. Moore opened a one-man-play, Dare To Be Black, Off-Off Broadway, which highlights Johnson’s career and the trials he faced along the way.

Johnson died in a car crash in 1946 after being refused service at a North Carolina diner at the age of 68.

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Little Known Black History Fact: Jack Johnson Pardon  was originally published on

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