8.3/10
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Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (2004)

The story of Jack Johnson, the first African-American Heavyweight boxing champion.

Director:

Ken Burns
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Won 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Johnson Jack Johnson ... Himself (archive footage)
Keith David ... Narrator (voice)
Samuel L. Jackson ... Jack Johnson (voice)
Adam Arkin ... Other Voices (voice)
Philip Bosco ... Other Voices (voice)
Kevin Conway ... Other Voices (voice)
Brian Cox ... Other Voices (voice)
John Cullum ... Other Voices (voice)
Murphy Guyer ... Other Voices (voice)
Ed Harris ... Other Voices (voice)
Derek Jacobi ... Other Voices (voice)
Carl Lumbly ... Other Voices (voice)
Amy Madigan ... Other Voices (voice)
Carolyn McCormick ... Other Voices (voice)
Joe Morton ... Other Voices (voice)
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Storyline

The story of Jack Johnson, the first African-American Heavyweight boxing champion.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They couldn't knock him out, so they tried to tear him down.


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

PBS [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 January 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Er wollte kein Sklave sein See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Jack Johnson: I have found no better way in avoiding race prejudice than to act with people of other races as if prejudice did not exist.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sports Jeopardy!: Episode #1.49 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Hail to the Chief
Composed by James Sanderson
Arranged by John Colby
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Remarkable story of a man in a remarkable time!
10 November 2006 | by Roncarol-1See all my reviews

As a youngster I heard about this man Jack Johnson. Even then I thought those same stories were fiction. Afterall, no one could convince me that, in the early 1900's a black, Negro, could have possibly conducted his life in such a way to disdain social mores not only to the degree in and of itself, but more so in his audacity.

Marrying and dating white women?? Come on. And he did not get killed? It shows that even for those times, America had this certain elasticity in dealing with a unique personality such as Johnson's.

This movie weaves his life thoughtfully, slowly (a 2 disc set after all) and with dignity. The voices that contributed to this story is so widely varied that I implore you to check the movie's credits. From Ed Harris, Kevin Conway, Samuel L. Jackson and the lead narrator, Keith David. But these voices aren't the complete range of contributors. For this kind of talent to come together is a testament to the power of the story and the pull that director Ken Burns commands.

Unforgivable Blackness ... is a powerful, thought provoking part of the American Experience. To that end, PBS deserves continued credit for bringing history to the masses.

Humbly Submitted and with deep emotions, Ron W.


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