Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack JohnsonDirector: Ken Burns, Samuel L. Jackson, Adam Arkin, Philip Bosco
Experience legendary boxer Jack Johnson's remarkable struggle both in and out of the ring in documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' two-part look at the career of one of the sports world's most remarkable athletes. From his childhood in Galveston, TX, as the son of former slaves to his triumph as the first African-American Heavyweight Champion of the World in 1908, Johnson's career was a defining moment in the realm of sports history.
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- Original Release:
- Pbs Paramount
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Cast & Crew
|Samuel L. Jackson||Jack Johnson|
|Adam Arkin||Voice Only|
|Philip Bosco||Voice Only|
|Carolyn McCormick||Voice Only|
|Kevin Conway||Voice Only|
|Brian Cox||Voice Only|
|John Cullum||Voice Only|
|Murphy Guyer||Voice Only|
|Ed Harris||Voice Only|
|Derek Jacobi||Voice Only|
|Carl Lumbly||Voice Only|
|Amy Madigan||Voice Only|
|Joe Morton||Voice Only|
|Alan Rickman||Voice Only|
|Studs Terkel||Voice Only|
|Jack Thompson||Voice Only|
|Billy Bob Thornton||Voice Only|
|Courtney B. Vance||Voice Only|
|Eli Wallach||Voice Only|
|Jeffrey Wright||Voice Only|
|Ken Burns||Director,Executive Producer|
|Wynton Marsalis||Score Composer|
|John Osborne||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Brenda Ray||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Susanna Steisel||Associate Producer|
|Geoffrey C. Ward||Screenwriter|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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It was great to find the DVD at a reasonable price so I could give it to my son. Seeing this originally on PBS he was greatly impressed by the story of a boxer he had never heard of but was so good. I would recommend this to anyone with an interest in boxing or simply finding out about people one was never introduced to.
One does not have to be fascinated by boxing to passionately love this extraordinary pice of work by Ken Burns. He captures the music, the age, the story, the man, the subject, the sport, the times in a way that only Burns is capable in doing. I watched it twice and have learned so much I did not know. Poignant and sad, uplifting and devastating, Jack Johnson was larger than life, refused to bend to societies mores and culture, and suffered profoundly because of it. Yet, he never lost his passion for life. His anger fueled his sport. The prejudice he endured few men ever had to experience. A phenomenal DVD!
I have a regular and widescreen TV. On my regular TV, the picture is distorted and full screen. Only on the special features is it in letter box. On my widescreen TV, the picture is widescreen on just. This is the only DVD that wouldn't play as a widescreen picture on a normal TV. I guess that's what the 16x9 enhanced means in the special features. I also didn't like a lot of the fight footage they acquired. It's very grainy compared to what I've seen on ESPN.
I loved this film! The music was wonderful, the narritive intelligent and the film footage exciting. Once again, Ken Burns outdoes himself. If you are a boxing fan this is a must see, if you are a history buff,you will love it.
Jack Johnson's story is one that all sports fans and American history buffs must see. Joe Louis, Jack Robinson, Charlie Sifford, Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali, Curt Flood, Arthur Ashe, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and especially Charles Barkley--all pioneers in their respective arenas--have benefited from the deeds of Jack Johnson. Come to think of it, American society has. Johnson was no saint; however, irreverent, audacious, athletic, cockily dapper, and articulate, Jack Johnson was a middle finger to the white supremacist establishment. Ken Burns shows us Johnson's intellect--even significantly deeper than James Earl Jones portrayed in the classic 'Great White Hope.' Burns properly exposes the honest racism of such powerful American influences as DW Griffith, Jack London, and President Woodrow Wilson--the so-called friend of self-determination. As well, Burns exposes the forces that Johnson had to counter in the black community. Ken Burns's employment of the aforementioned influences among many others gives viewers a sense of the society that Johnson had to face. Don't wince or press the eject button. We owe it to those who preceded us to watch their stories. While we Americans have come a long way since Johnson's time, we must watch this documentary to appreciate our progress.
I was moved by the hatred whites had for this man. Even more amazing is how Congress changed laws because this man was traveling with white women. Then they jailed the man on trumped up charges. It was quite typical in that day. We have a long ways yet to go with seeing each person the same.