New York Times
n the African-American prizefighter Jack Johnson, the documentary filmmaker Ken Burns has found an extraordinary subject that falls into the strangely ordinary cinematic genre of the moment, the biopic.
Of course, his film, "Unforgivable Blackness," to be broadcast on PBS tonight and tomorrow, uses only the Burnsian blend of archival clips, still images and sonorous readings of first-person accounts. A filmed re-enactment with actors will come later, reportedly on ESPN. Meanwhile, Mr. Burns has the skills and material to imbue Johnson's life story with maximum cultural and historical significance.