March 31, 2016 / Modified apr 7, 2016 3:03 p.m.

AZPM to air Ken Burns film 'Jackie Robinson' on PBS 6, April 11 and 12

Two-Part Film Chronicles the Life and Times of Robinson, His Breaking of Baseball’s Color Barrier and Lifelong Fight for Equality on and off the Field

TUCSON, AZ - March 31, 2016 - JACKIE ROBINSON, a new two-part, four-hour documentary directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, will air April 11 and 12, 9:00 p.m. on PBS 6.

The film tells the story of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who rose from humble origins to break baseball’s color barrier and waged a fierce lifelong battle for first-class citizenship for all African Americans that transcends even his remarkable athletic achievements.

“Jackie Robinson is the most important figure in our nation’s most important game,” said director Ken Burns. “He gave us our first lasting progress in civil rights since the Civil War and, ever since I finished my BASEBALL series in 1994, I’ve been eager to make a stand-alone film about the life of this courageous American."

JACKIE ROBINSON is also a warm portrait of a loving and devoted husband and father, featuring extensive interviews with Robinson’s widow, Rachel, and their surviving children, Sharon and David, who witnessed firsthand how resistant society could be to equality for African Americans, even their enormously popular father.

"There was so much more to say not only about Robinson’s barrier-breaking moment in 1947, but about how his upbringing shaped his intolerance for any form of discrimination and how after his baseball career, he spoke out tirelessly against racial injustice, even after his star had begun to dim.”

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 also reflect on Robinson's legacy.

Episode summaries: April 11 - Part one: Robinson integrates Major League Baseball, performing brilliantly despite threats and abuse. April 12 - Part two: Robinson uses his fame to speak out against injustice, risking his enormous popularity.

  • Watch the trailer online.

  • Share your thoughts on social media with hashtags #JackieRobinsonPBS and #myAZPM.

  • For a full schedule of AZPM television programming, visit

  • See Jackie Robinson's life in the context of the Civil Rights Movement. Explore the ‪interactive timeline!

  • For more information about the film visit the official website.

Funding is provided by Bank of America; Public Broadcasting Service; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; Dalio Foundation; Mr. Jack C. Taylor; and members of The Better Angels Society, including Jessica & John Fullerton and John & Catherine Debs.

JACKIE ROBINSON is a production of Florentine Films and WETA, Washington, DC, in association with Major League Baseball. It is directed and produced by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon; written by David McMahon and Sarah Burns; edited by Lewis Erskine, A.C.E., George O’Donnell and Ted Raviv; cinematography by Buddy Squires, A.S.C.; original music by Wynton Marsalis and Doug Wamble; narrated by Keith David. Series advisors include Kevin Baker, Adrian Burgos, William E. Leuchtenburg; John Thorn, Khadijah White and Craig Steven Wilder.

About AZPM

AZPM is an Emmy® award-winning, member-supported media organization serving all of Southern Arizona. AZPM has six public television channels and three radio stations, including PBS 6, PBS Kids and NPR 89.1. AZPM produces local content from its digital studios on the campus of the University of Arizona and is provided as a community service and educational resource. More information about AZPM, including program schedules and Video-on-Demand offerings, can be found online at

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