Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (2005)

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Experience legendary boxer Jack Johnson's remarkable struggle both in and out of the ring in documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' two-part look at the career of one of the sports world's most remarkable athletes. From his childhood in Galveston, TX, as the son of former slaves to his triumph as the first African-American Heavyweight Champion of the World in 1908, Johnson's career was a defining moment in the realm of sports history.

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Critic Reviews for Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (1)

The archival footage alone justifies the entire enterprise.

July 2, 2018 | Full Review…

Burns's footage of Johnson in action is astounding, and the commentary from Stanley Crouch, Gerald Early and James Earl Jones provides acerbic, one-two punching Black male insights.

April 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Burns brings forth many impressive historical details, all contextualized within the overarching story of Race in America. Hours later, you are left with what feels like a genuine sense of what made the guy tick, and the world that he inhabited. Yet anoth

June 21, 2007 | Rating: A | Full Review…

The subject is admirably served here.

October 29, 2005 | Full Review…

Unforgivable Blackness will stand as an absorbing microscope in reference to resilient black manhood in all its vulnerability and vitality.

January 26, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4

Proves that, no matter what punches were thrown at him, no one ever wiped that triumphant smile off of Jack Johnson's face.

October 5, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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