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Unforgivable Blackness is now available on DVD

Unforgivable Blackness, the Ken Burns’ documentary about iconic black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson is now available on DVD.
Combining photographs and film footage with music provided by Wynton Marsalis, Burns’ portrait of Johnson clicks on at least three levels: as a biography, as a piece of sports history, and, most important, as a lesson on race relations in the early 20th century.

Drawing on blues, jazz and ragtime, Wynton collects and re-creates the musical styles that Johnson heard – and sometimes played – and uses them to portray the exhilarating rise and predictable fall of America’s first black heavyweight champion.

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  1. Mr. M,

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Jack Johnson documentary, but I was even more taken by your score. It was magnificent. I’m not an officionado when it comes to ragtime, but your treatment of the period gave me a new appreciation for the form.

    I’ve truly enjoyed growing up with you (we are about the same age) listening to your development and marvelling at your enormous gift.

    Thank you for your contribution to the American experience. I look forward to many more years of enjoyment and learning as I listen to you and your family explore the boundaries of the only truly American art form.

    With great respect & admiration.

    Jeffrey D. Young, Sr.

    Jeffrey Young on Jan 19th, 2005 at 8:41am