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

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

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Title: Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (2004)

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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 ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Narrator (voice)
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Jack Johnson (voice)
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Other Voices (voice)
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Other Voices (voice)
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Other Voices (voice)
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Other Voices (voice)
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Other Voices (voice)
Murphy Guyer ...
Other Voices (voice)
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Other Voices (voice)
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Other Voices (voice)
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Other Voices (voice)
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Other Voices (voice)
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Other Voices (voice)
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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.


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Details

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Release Date:

17 January 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Er wollte kein Sklave sein  »

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| (DVD)

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Jack Johnson: If and suppose, two small words, but nobody has ever been able to explain them. One man falls out of bed and is killed, another falls from a fifty foot scaffold and lives. One man gets shot in the leg and is killed, another gets a bullet in the brain and lives. I always take a chance on my pleasures.
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Connections

Features The Birth of a Nation (1915) See more »

Soundtracks

St. Louis Rag (Piano Roll)
Composed by Tom Turpin
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User Reviews

 
Remarkable story of a man in a remarkable time!
10 November 2006 | by (Kansas-Epitome of Mid-America!) – See 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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