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Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson


210 minutes
Source: PBS Video

This two-part documentary tells the story of the first African American boxer to win the title Heavyweight Champion of the World. Johnson, the son of former slaves from Galveston, Texas, began boxing in turn-of-the-century Jim Crow America, where the heavyweight champion was an exclusively "white title." Despite the odds, Johnson worked his way up through the professional ranks, finally winning the title in 1908. His victory set in motion a worldwide search for a Great White Hope to restore the title to the white race. When these efforts failed, Johnson's own government used his relationships with white women as an excuse to try to destroy him in court.

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