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‘Jackie Robinson’ showing in Slayton

APPLETON -- The Murray County Historical Society is partnering with Pioneer Public Television to sponsor an exclusive premiere of "Jackie Robinson," --a new documentary directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, at 7 p.m. April 7 at Th...

APPLETON - The Murray County Historical Society is partnering with Pioneer Public Television to sponsor an exclusive premiere of “Jackie Robinson,” ­­a new documentary directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon, at 7 p.m. April 7 at The Vine Cafe, 2630 Broadway Ave., Slayton. 

The free screening event will take place following a special book signing with historians Peter Gorton and Frank White from 5 to 6 p.m. Starting at 6 p.m. at the Vine, refreshments will be served in advance of the film. The event is designed to celebrate Pioneer Public Television’s 50th anniversary and the ongoing exhibit at the Murray County Historical Society about town-team baseball in Murray County.
“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 well-­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 hosted 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 schoolhouse south of Appleton back in 1966. In 1996, a second tower was constructed near Chandler in Murray County to serve southwest Minnesota. Today, the station has grown to become an award-winning PBS affiliate 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, which is located at 2480 29th St. 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.

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