A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.
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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