It’s Jack Johnson, 1 — Scooter Libby, zero. Senator John McCain delivers some straight talk we can believe in with the announcement this week that he is seeking a presidential pardon for the late Jack Johnson, the nation’s first black heavyweight boxing champion, who he “feels was wronged by a 1913 conviction of violating the Mann Act by having a consensual relationship with a white woman” (read more about the story at AP); STOP SMILING featured Johnson on the cover of our Boxing Issue back in 2005, timing with the release of Ken Burn’s extraordinary documentary Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson. The final bell will be rung by President Obama.
Really? What’s McCain’s motivation? I remember an audio piece produced by my friend Kabuika for Vocalo.org in which an eleven year old kid asks Black Journalists if they think McCain is afraid of Black People (after McCain declined an invite to a Conference of Black Journalists in 2008).
McCain, Afraid of Black People? by Kabuika
So, what is McCain’s Motivation for pushing to pardon somebody who’s been dead sixty-0dd years? Like the classic Tootsie Pop commercial, the world may never know…
STOP SMILING (a magazine covering Film, Music, & Books that’s based dually in Chicago and New York) will celebrate the release of its new issue TONITE at the DESIGN WITHIN REACH North Ave storefront with DJs Ben Fasman and Logan Bay and free drinks. Come schmooze among fancy digs and take home a complimentary copy of the new issue (while supplies last!).
Issue 38 features 20 interviews with the likes of:
Late Chilean novelist and poet ROBERTO BOLAÑO
Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer JONATHAN GOLD
Novelist and model SOPHIE DAHL
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist JUNOT DÍAZ
Author and staff writer for The New Yorker JANE MAYER
Novelist PAUL AUSTER
Novelist JONATHAN LETHEM
Classical music critic for The New Yorker ALEX ROSS
Poet FREDERICK SEIDEL
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker BARBARA KOPPLE
Musician RY COODER
Musician STEPHEN MALKMUS
Musician / poet DAVID BERMAN
Oscar-winning filmmaker MIKE LEIGH
Cinematographer DEAN CUNDEY
Musician / artist RICHARD HELL
Novelist ENRIQUE VILA-MATAS
Soul icon AL GREEN
Thursday, March 19, 2009
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Design Within Reach
1574 N Kingsbury St. (just west of North Ave and Sheffield)
To attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To purchase the this issue, click here.