Air Date: April 11-12, 2016 (PBS)
Directors: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
Writters: David McMahon, Sarah Burns
Narrator: Keith David
Jamie Foxx as: Jackie Robinson (voice)
Runtime: 240 minutes
Links: Official Site
Jackie 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.
Featuring intimate and revealing interviews with his family and rarely seen photographs and film footage, this two-part, four-hour documentary tells the extraordinary story of an American icon whose lifelong 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.”
- Jamie Foxx is the voice of Jackie Robinson, reading excerpts from his newspaper columns, personal letters and autobiographies.
- The film features interviews with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; Rachel, Sharon and David Robinson; former Dodgers teammates Don Newcombe, Carl Erskine and Ralph Branca; writers Howard Bryant and Gerald Early; Harry Belafonte; Tom Brokaw; and Carly Simon.