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Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise And Fall Of Jack Johnson

February 1, 2012 by staff 

Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise And Fall Of Jack Johnson, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson is a documentary by filmmaker Ken Burns based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Geoffrey C. Ward (2004).

The documentary was first broadcast on PBS in two parts on January 17 and January 18, 2005. In Burns’ signature style the 220-minute film serves as a biography of Jack Johnson, the first African-American Heavyweight Champion of the World, as well as a documentary of racism and social inequality during the Jim Crow era against which Jack Johnson lived in defiant opposition. The film is narrated by Keith David and features a soundtrack by Wynton Marsalis and Samuel L. Jackson as the voice of Jack Johnson. Alan Rickman also contributed his voice to the documentary.

In 2005, the film earned Burns an Emmy Award for Directing for Non-Fiction Programming. David won an Emmy for Best Voice Over Performance.

The film was produced by David Schaye, Paul Barnes and Ken Burns (Executive Producer) for Florentine Flims.

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