Galveston’s nod to Jack Johnson

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GALVESTON — Jack Johnson stood on a pedestal behind Old Central Cultural Center, ready to throw a left hook and then come back with a right.

On the grounds surrounding the life-size bronze statue of Mr. Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion, workers dug trenches in preparation for the opening of what will be Jack Johnson Park, Galveston’s latest effort to reclaim its most famous son since turning its back on him a century ago....

Not until Jack Johnson Park has there been a concerted effort to lionize Mr. Johnson.

“The city paid $150,000 to do this park” because some Galvestonians “want to apologize for what the city officials didn’t do back then,” Douglas W. Matthews, the coordinator of the project, said in a phone interview....

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