Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

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

Directed by Ken Burns

Jack Johnson was a controversial figure in his day. He would go on to become the first black undisputed heavyweight champion of the boxing world. Throughout his success Johnson was dogged by racism and his own flamboyant lifestyle.

For this incredible two-part series Ken Burns dug deep. With archival footage and personal accounts Burns puts together the life and career of one of the great boxers of all time. As the film unfolds, the documentation, footage, and music all come together to paint a beautiful picture. Johnson had natural talent in the ring that captured the imagination of the black people all over America. Out of the ring he caused problems for himself with his philandering and wild lifestyle. He loved white women, fast cars, and lavish living. All of these things would pit him against the people of white America.

Ken Burns has found a way to travel through time. From The War, The Shakers, and Baseball he has found the key to bringing those important moments to the viewer. I would recommend any of his documentaries to anyone. The films are unique and exciting, as well as incredibly educational. I give this one 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Rating: Not Rated

Running Time: 214 minutes

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