In 1992, while Ken Burns was working on "Baseball," his young associate producer showed him a 20-page biographical sketch he'd written about Jack Johnson.At the time, Burns did not know much about the boxer, who in 1908 became the first African-American heavyweight champion of the world.
Burns Offers Ringside Seat to Johnson's Lifelong Fight
"I knew this was the 'Great White Hope' story," Burns says. "I had seen the movie in the early '70s. And that was it."Johnson became heavyweight champ at a time when whites considered that title their exclusive domain. White boxers continually sought to defeat the proud,...