Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson Reviews

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½ September 9, 2016
Exceptional, so much so that the incredible length of it is not noticed at all
January 30, 2016
Whatever I am still here you see.
May 27, 2014
One of the best specials I've ever seen.
March 23, 2013
A masterful documentary which, when documenting the rise, has you smiling, laughing, nodding in disbelief and generally feeling every bit as happy as Johnson did as he beat the heck out of anyone who stood in his way. And when documenting the fall has you frowning, sighing, nodding in disbelief and generally feeling pretty sucky to hear that he was beating the crap out of those close to him and getting beat up by the system around him (and by that really tall guy)

It's beautifully crafted and made with a real passion (and I don't just throw that word around) for Johnson's story and his life. It's certainly long (nearly four hours) but the story is always interesting and this documentary makes it great to watch and learn too. It's a fascinating journey with as many ups and downs as you could ask for. I recommended it to all who have time to spend.
February 28, 2013
March 28, 2012
A must see !! One of my heroes !! The first black heavyweight champions !
February 29, 2012
A very detailed documentary of the life and struggle of Jack Johnson...the first black world's heavyweight boxing champion.This is a very interesting series it tells about the troubles Johnson had outside of the ring.
November 15, 2011
a classic talking about the first and one of the greatest heavy weight boxers of all time in my opinion
November 12, 2011
"It's because we eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -Jack Johnson
½ April 5, 2011
Extremely long, but thorough and nuanced. The pain-staking detail and documentation makes the entire period and all the issues real and current. Also, amazing footage from 1910!
February 3, 2011
This guy lived his life his way. It's just plain wrong the way he was treated by whites. This documentary is definitely worth the watch.
November 21, 2010
He wore fir coats and tailored suits, had a gill, drove expensive sport cars, openly fornicated with and married white women, and humiliated the so called "superior race" by becoming Heavy Weight Boxing Champion of the World all in 1903?! In Jim Crow south?! AMAZING!
June 16, 2010
Unforgivable Blackness by Ken Burns is a sizzling masterpiece!
½ October 20, 2005
[b]DVD[/b] First Viewing, 1 Burns film seen

Jack Johnson was the greatest heavyweight champion that ever lived. Ken Burn's excellent documentary chronicles his "rise" and "fall" in two parts, for a total of about three-and-a-half hours. It is one of the best films I have seen about the race divide and color line drawn in America. Johnson's fights weren't just boxing matches; they were race battles between the whites and blacks.

Johnson publicly dated white women. This enraged most white people, and he was branded a target. The white race felt as if they needed to reclaim the heavyweight championship. But he wasn't going down that easily.

Ken Burns has made a lot of documentaries, funded by General Motors, and released by PBS. I have only seen clips of his films on Jazz and Baseball, but I am sure they are just as good (if not better).
January 18, 2005
I knew very little about Jack Johnson until watching this on PBS. Talk about an eye opener. He was an amazing man that faced hardship after hardship, and is seem almost always in every picture with a smile on his face. He defined who he was as a MAN, and never let anyone undermine his belief in himself. I think every American citizen should be required to watch this movie, to remember what we used to be, and what we should never be again.

A great, moving, inspiring film.
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