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Unforgivable Blackness 2x106

He was the son of former slaves and from 1904 to 1915 Jack Johnson was the best heavyweight boxer in the world. His 1908 victory over the white heavyweight champion triggered a worldwide search for “The Great White Hope” to re-establish the superiority of the white race. But many were outraged by Johnson’s increasingly bold personal life including openly courting, being with and marrying white women. In 1912 he was convicted of an erroneous charge, but he fled the country to avoid prison. Johnson’s story is far more than a portrait of one of the most talented and courageous athletes that ever lived. It is also the story of how a nation was forced to reconcile widely held notions of racial supremacy and social order with one man’s single-minded determination to live his life outside the confines of color lines.

Episode lengths for two-part version:
Part I: 1×102 minutes
Part II: 1×111 minutes

“A superbly crafted biography that is among Burns’ most vivid pieces of living history.” — Hollywood Reporter

“Ken Burns has hit on a great subject… irresistibly engrossing… an extraordinary portrait of white supremacist thinking at its American pinnacle…” — Variety

“Mr. Burns takes viewers along on one fierce individual’s adventure with many uncomfortable themes, and popular history is enriched by the exploration.” — New York Times

**3 National Emmy Awards, 2005: Outstanding Nonfiction Special, Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction, and Outstanding Voiceover Performance**

From Ken Burns.