Join WSKG April 7 at 6:30PM, at our studio in Vestal, for a special sneak peek at the new documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns – JACKIE ROBINSON. We will be showing 40 minutes from the two-part, four-hour film. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and an RSVP is required. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 607-729-0100.
JACKIE ROBINSON, is directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, and will air April 11 and 12, at 9:00 p.m. on WSKG TV. The film chronicles the life and times of Robinson, his breaking of baseball’s color barrier and his lifelong fight for equality on and off the field.
“Jackie Robinson is the most important figure in our nation’s most important game,” said Ken Burns in a release from PBS. “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.”
“Robinson is often celebrated for stoically ‘turning the other cheek’ to the threats and insults he faced during his first season in the majors, and what’s lost is that this display of self-restraint went completely against his character,” said co-director David McMahon. “This is a man who was court-martialed for refusing to move to the back of a military bus in 1944, a decade before Rosa Parks’s protest. He was feisty, assertive and naturally inclined to speak out against the slights and indignities he faced on and off the field, and we wanted to create a more nuanced picture of a man who is often reduced to a two-dimensional myth.
In addition to interviews with Robinson’s widow, Rachel, and their surviving children, Sharon and David, the film features interviews with 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. The film also features Jamie Foxx as the voice of Jackie Robinson.
Image Credit: LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-L9-54-3566-O, no. 7].