Jackie Robinson’s role in integrating Major League Baseball was, well, major. But that’s not all this legend should be remembered for.
He never missed the chance to knock racism out of the park! Long before playing baseball, Robinson was drafted into the Army to fight during World War II. However, in 1944, he was “court-martialed” for refusing to give up his seat on a bus to a white soldier. He was acquitted, but the experience stayed with him.
When he was approached to join the Dodgers, it wasn’t truly about his baseball playing ability. Specifically, they wanted someone “with guts enough not to fight back” against the racism he would surely experience. And seemingly Robinson was committed to the message non-violence could send. But he was far from docile.
He refused to stand to sing the national anthem. He publicly wrote letters to every American President, urging Civil Rights action. He served on the board of the NAACP, worked with Martin Luther King, Jr., helped found a Black-owned bank, and started a construction company to build low-income housing for Black people.
Robinson’s story is more than just about baseball. He was forever dedicated to his people and used his platform for Black liberation! And in our books, this is definitely a home run.