JACKIE ROBINSON (watch trailer), a film by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon, examines the life and times of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who lifted an entire race, and nation, on his shoulders when he crossed baseball’s color line in 1947. Watch the film April 11 and 12 at 9 p.m., E.T. on PBS.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson rose from humble origins to cross baseball’s color line and become one of the most beloved men in America. A fierce integrationist, Robinson used his immense fame to speak out against the discrimination he saw on and off the field, angering fans, the press, and even teammates who had once celebrated him for “turning the other cheek.” After baseball, he was a widely-read newspaper columnist, divisive political activist and tireless advocate for civil rights, who later struggled to remain relevant as diabetes crippled his body and a new generation of leaders set a more militant course for the civil rights movement.
JACKIE ROBINSON, a two-part, four-hour film directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon tells the story of an American icon whose life-long battle for first class citizenship for all African Americans transcends even his remarkable athletic achievements. “Jackie Robinson,” Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “was a sit-inner before sit-ins, a freedom rider before freedom rides.”