You won’t want to miss these inspiring stories, in and out of the ring.
In honor of the new Ken Burns documentary series Muhammad Ali, coming September 19, 2021, we’re celebrating great athletes with special rebroadcasts of some of our favorite documentaries all month long. And, with the Olympics in full swing, you won’t want to miss these inspiring stories of greatness, on and off the field.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson rose from humble origins to cross baseball's color line and become one of the most beloved men in America. A fierce integrationist, Jackie 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.
Part 1 of 2 premieres Tuesday, August 3, at 1:00 p.m. Or watch Jackie Robinson online now.
American Experience: Jesse Owens
On April 2, 1936, Jesse Owens, a 22-year-old son of a sharecropper, entered the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. The young athlete would channel his raw emotions into some of the most remarkable achievements in the history of athletics, winning four gold medals.
Watch the encore presentation Tuesday, August 3, at 9:00 p.m.
American Experience: The Fight
Learn the interweaving stories of two extraordinary men, boxers Max Schmeling of Germany and American Joe Louis, culminating in what was arguably the most politicized sporting event in history: the 1938 heavyweight championship of the world.
Watch the encore presentation Tuesday, August 3, at 10:00 p.m. Or watch The Fight online now.
American Masters: Althea
Discover the story of Althea Gibson, who emerged as the unlikely queen of the segregated tennis world of the 1950s. She was the first African American to play and win Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals. This program features Billie Jean King and David Dinkins.
Watch the encore presentation Tuesday, August 17, at 1:00 p.m. Or watch Althea online now.
Jack Johnson was the first African American Heavyweight Champion of the World. His dominance over his white opponents spurred furious debates and race riots in the early 20th century. Part 1 of 2 premieres August 24.
Part 1 of 2 premieres Tuesday, August 24, at 1:00 p.m. Or watch Unforgivable Blackness online now.
Caroline Gerdes is the Marketing and Communications Managing Editor at Cascade Public Media. Before working for Cascade Public Media, Caroline was a freelance writer and she worked for National Geographic as a grantee and digital producer. She is also the author of the book, An Oral History of the New Orleans Ninth Ward.