The Mann Act
also provided a useful pretext for harassing interracial couples and others suspected of transgressing social or political norms.
Drawing on classic works such as Carol Pateman's The Sexual Contract and more recent studies on marriage, citizenship and the state, Pliley analyzes the FBI's implementation of the Mann Act
in light of the marriage contract--the idea that in return for economic support, men received exclusive rights to their wives' sexual services and reproductive labour.
The enforcement logics of the Mann Act
flowed from this racial and sexual hierarchy of purity.
Moreover, the Mann Act
penalizes even the attempt to move people through
The most famous Mann Act
case was the prosecution of the black heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson, whose brazen relationships with white women drew the wrath of BOI agents and the Illinois attorney general.
United States, the Supreme Court considered whether a woman who willingly traveled with a man in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in sexual intercourse could be prosecuted for conspiracy to violate the Mann Act
. (121) With respect to prosecuting her for a substantive offense under the Mann Act
, the Court found that "[t]he penalties of the statute are too clearly directed against the acts of the transporter as distinguished from the consent of the subject of the transportation." (122) Concerning the conspiracy charge, the Court said,
In 1912, black boxer Jack Johnson was arrested in Chicago, accused of violating the Mann Act
because of his relationship with his white girlfriend, Lucille Cameron.
"Moralising" politicians and lawyers were looking for a high-profile person on whom they could test out the Mann Act
, which forbade the taking of a woman across a state-line for immoral acts, and which had been passed just a few days before Johnson had beaten Jeffries.
The sole basis for federal prosecution was the Mann Act
, more formally known as the White Slave Traffic Act.
(24) The court's task was to interpret the Mann Act
provision in 18 U.S.C.
The boxer was convicted in 1913 of violating the Mann Act
, which made it illegal to
In 1913 he violated the segregationist Mann Act
with his consensual relationship with a white woman and crossing the state line.