Overcoming the Odds

APT pays tribute to today's U.S. Olympians with documentaries on four American athletes who helped shape their sports and changed the course of history.

Join APT as we salute our 2021 U.S. Olympic team in August with documentaries on four great athletes whose stories also help set the stage for Ken Burns’ Muhammad Ali premiering in September.

First at bat is Ken Burns’ Jackie Robinson, Mondays Aug 2 & 9 at 9pm. Robinson rose from humble origins to cross baseball’s color line and become one of the most beloved men in America. He used his immense fame to speak out against the discrimination he saw on and off the field.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE presents Jesse Owens, Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 8pm. The 22-year-old son of an Alabama sharecropper, Owens stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world and infuriated the Nazis.

Owen’s story is followed on Tuesday by AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, The Fight. On June 22, 1938, Alabama’s Joe Louis squared off against German Max Schmeling for the heavyweight championship of the world. In the shadow of war, the two became reluctant symbols of equality and supremacy, democracy and fascism.

Later this month, Ken Burns’ Unforgivable Blackness tells the story of Jack Johnson, the first African American Heavyweight Champion of the world. Johnson’s dominance over white opponents spurred furious debates and race riots. Tune in Mondays, Aug 23 & 30 at 9pm.

Help Alabama Public Television tell more great stories. Your gift now will help pay for future Ken Burns' films, American Experiences, and our own local documentaries.  Thank you!

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