JACKIE ROBINSON tells the story of how Jack Roosevelt Robinson rose from humble origins to cross baseball’s color barrier and become one of the most beloved citizens in America. A fierce integrationist, 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.”
After baseball, he was a widely-read newspaper columnist, divisive political activist and tireless advocate for civil rights, who later struggled to remain relevant as diabetes crippled his body and a new generation of leaders set a more militant course for the civil rights movement.
JACKIE ROBINSON 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. Jamie Foxx is the voice of Jackie Robinson, reading excerpts from his newspaper columns, personal letters and autobiographies.
The exclusive 40 minute advance screening will feature excerpts from the full four hour program which will air on Pioneer Public TV and on PBS nationally on April 11 and 12. After the screening, a panel discussion will be held with baseball historians Peter Gorton and Frank White. Gorton is the state’s leading expert in the life and times of famed black baseball pitcher John Donaldson. Frank White is the author of “They Played for the Love of the Game. Untold Stories of Black Baseball in Minnesota.”
Pioneer is co sponsoring this event as a way of saying “Thank You” to all the loyal members from the Slayton area who have supported the station over the years. Pioneer began broadcasting from a one room school house south of Appleton back in 1966. In 1996 a second tower was constructed near Chandler in Murray County to serve southwestern Minnesota. Today the station has grown to become an award winning PBS station with a signal reaching more than 2.5 million people in parts of five states.
Home Town Nine: Town Team Baseball in Murray County is the name of an ongoing exhibit at the Murray County Historical Museum located at 2480 29th Street in Slayton. This exhibit interprets town ball as a social institution and an economic driver for the small towns in the region. This exhibit will be up through August of 2016.
About Pioneer Public Television
Established in 1966, Pioneer Public TV is an award-winning, viewer-supported television station dedicated to sharing local stories of the region with the world. For more information visit: www.pioneer.org.