Statue of famed boxer Jack Johnson sparks controversy

Galveston Texas is home to many wood statues carved out of trees killed in hurricane Ike. The newest addition to the family of carvings is a statue of the famed boxer and Galveston native Jack Johnson. This statue is a point of contention for some Hoak sub-division neighbors, who claim that it creates too much traffic in their residential area.

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Other home owners, like Helen Douglas, believe it is Johnson’s history that makes some want to re-locate the statue. When asked if she saw a problem with traffic due to the statue, Douglas replied “not at all, the way you see it right now is basically the way it is,” as she pointed to a nearly empty road. In 1908 Johnson became the first black man to earn the title of Heavyweight Champion of the World. He also ignored racial taboos by dating white woman in an era filled with racial violence.

Opponents of the statue’s placement were not readily available for comment, but homeowner Rory Prue did say that although he did not mind the statue, it might be better served elsewhere. Whether the statue will move or stay is now up to the Galveston housing authority.