Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) will premiere the new Ken Burns documentary on the life of baseball great Jackie Robinson TONIGHT beginning at 9 p.m. EST.

In “JACKIE ROBINSON” Burns explores the legacy of a man whose exemplary life and aspirational message of equality continues to be a major influence on the lives of countless Americans. It illuminates how Robinson, after baseball, continued his fight against discrimination as an irascible, widely-read newspaper columnist, tireless fundraiser and advocate for the civil rights movement, and divisive political activist. And it will look back at a pioneering entrepreneur and devoted family man who struggled to remain relevant as diabetes crippled his body and a new generation of black leaders set a more militant course for the Civil Rights movement.

In honor of the film, GPB recently hosted a special Atlanta screening for its members that featured an intimate conversation with former Atlanta Braves player and sports icon “Hammering” Hank Aaron. During the pre-film discussion with WABE 90.1 radio announcer Denis O’Hayer, Aaron talked about his career and some of the valuable lessons he learned from Robinson over the years. He also opened up about Robinson’s influence on so many players of color and how he was a catalyst for change long before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X.


Hank Aaron with WABE’s Denis O’Hayer

“I was inspired by Jackie Robinson of course. As you know, he inspired many, many Blacks and gave all of us an opportunity. He was like, ‘All I need you to do is just give me a platform and I will do the rest.’ Jackie showed them that if given a chance to play baseball, he could play the game as well as anybody. That’s what I was mostly inspired by,” said Aaron to the crowd.

Check out a sneak peek of the film and don’t forget to tune in TONIGHT!

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