Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson


Premiering Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 2:30  p.m.

Jack Johnson, the first African-American Heavyweight Champion of the World, whose dominance over his white opponents spurred furious debates and race riots in the early 20th century — enters the ring once again in “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson,” a provocative PBS documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns.

The two-part film shows the gritty details of Johnson’s life through archival footage, still photographs, and the commentary of boxing experts such as Stanley Crouch, Bert Sugar, the late George Plimpton, Jack Newfield, Randy Roberts, Gerald Early and James Earl Jones, who portrayed Johnson in the Broadway play and film based on Johnson’s life, “The Great White Hope.”

Download the PBS Video app to stream this and other Ken Burns productions anytime.

Mark your calendars for Burns’ newest documentary, “Muhammad Ali,” premiering September 19 at 7 p.m. on Arizona PBS.

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