Part One: Monday, March 19, at 9pm & Part Two: Tuesday, March 20, at 9pm on CET
Jackie Robinson is more than a baseball legend – he was also a civil rights leader. “Jackie Robinson,” Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, was “a sit-inner before sit-ins, a freedom rider before freedom rides.”
Directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, Jackie Robinson tells the story of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who rose from humble origins to break baseball’s color barrier and waged a fierce lifelong battle for first-class citizenship for all African Americans that transcends even his remarkable athletic achievements.
“Jackie Robinson is the most important figure in our nation’s most important game,” Ken Burns said in a press release. “He gave us our first lasting progress in civil rights since the Civil War and, ever since I finished my Baseball series in 1994, I’ve been eager to make a stand-alone film about the life of this courageous American. There was so much more to say not only about Robinson’s barrier-breaking moment in 1947, but about how his upbringing shaped his intolerance for any form of discrimination and how after his baseball career, he spoke out tirelessly against racial injustice, even after his star had begun to dim.”
Jackie Robinson features extensive interviews with Robinson’s widow, Rachel, and their surviving children, Sharon and David, who witnessed firsthand how resistant society could be to equality for African Americans, even their enormously popular father. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; former Dodgers teammates Don Newcombe, Carl Erskine and Ralph Branca; writers Howard Bryant and Gerald Early; Harry Belafonte; Tom Brokaw; and Carly Simon are also featured. Jamie Foxx is the voice of Jackie Robinson, reading excerpts from his newspaper columns, personal letters and autobiographies.