Silent No Longer: The Outspoken Jackie Robinson

Silent No Longer: The Outspoken Jackie Robinson


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Die oë van Abraham Lincoln kyk uit 'n portret op die paneelmure in die uitvoerende kantore van die Brooklyn Dodgers Baseball Club terwyl tak Rickey 'n stroom rasse-beledigings by Jackie Robinson afvuur. Die president en hoofbestuurder van die Dodgers het min twyfel dat die jong balspeler aan die ander kant van sy mahonie -lessenaar die kolf, handskoen en spoed gehad het om dit in die groot ligas te haal, maar temperament - nie talent nie - was die punt van hierdie evaluering op 28 Augustus 1945. Rickey moes weet of hierdie kleinseun van 'n slaaf en seun van 'n aandeelhouer die mishandeling wat sou wag as die eerste Afro-Amerikaanse grootmeester van die 20ste eeu, kon opneem.

VIDEO: Tak Rickey Scouting Verslae Kyk na Rickey se verkenningsverslag van Don Drysdale en 'n opregte korrespondensie met Jackie Robinson.

Vir drie ure lank speel Rickey talle scenario's waarin die neger Leaguer op en buite die veld rasse-vyandigheid kan teëkom om te sien hoe hy dit sal hanteer. 'Hulle sal jou beledig en beledig,' het Rickey gewaarsku. 'Hulle sal alles doen om u te laat reageer. Hulle sal probeer om 'n oproer in die balpark uit te lok. Dit is die manier om aan die publiek te bewys dat 'n neger nie in die groot ligas toegelaat moet word nie.

"Mnr. Rickey, soek jy 'n neger wat bang is om terug te veg? " vra die jong diamantster.

'Robinson, ek is op soek na 'n balspeler met genoeg moed nie om terug te veg, ”verduidelik Rickey.

"Mnr. Rickey, as u hierdie waagstuk wil waag, sal ek u belowe dat daar geen voorval sal wees nie, ”verseker Robinson die uitvoerende hoof van Dodgers voordat hy tot 'n kontrak met die organisasie instem. Beide mans het geweet dat die waagstuk groot was, want Robinson was, in teenstelling met die mitologie wat daarna om hom ontwikkel het, nie die ander kant nie.

The Hall of Famer het in sy outobiografie "Never Had It Made" uit 1972 geskryf dat hy "geglo het in terugbetaling, weerwraak" sedert hy 8 jaar oud was en dat 'n buurtmeisie hom die grootste rasse -bynaam noem. 'Jackie het 'n genie gehad om buitemuurse skrape aan te gaan,' het die sportskrywer Will Connolly geskryf, en hy het vinnig uitgespreek teen onreg. Terwyl hy in 1944 in die weermag was, is die uitdagende Robinson gearresteer weens ongehoorsaamheid nadat hy geweier het om agter in 'n militêre bus te sit, soos deur die bestuurder beveel. Hy was temperamentvol, te vinnig-gemoed sommige spanmaats was bang. Hy het met wit amptenare teruggepraat, teruggeslaan teen wit spelers wat harde houe gehef het. Rickey het die berigte gehoor dat Robinson 'n 'rasse -oproeriger' was, maar het geglo dat hy as 'n mededinger beskou sou word as sy velkleur ligter was.

Nadat hy die baseball se kleurgrens op 15 April 1947 gebreek het, het die nuweling sy belofte nagekom - selfs toe teenstanders hom in die bobeen steek of boontjiebolle teen sy kop gooi, selfs as hy haatpos en doodsdreigemente ontvang het, selfs as hy gedwing was om te stort apart van sy blanke spanmaats, selfs as grootmoedige aanhangers invektiewe - en erger nog - na hom gewerp het.

Robinson het 'n week na sy debuut miskien sy grootste toets ondergaan toe die Philadelphia Phillies, onder leiding van hul bestuurder, Ben Chapman, die veld met rasse -bespotting gespuit en 'n beroep op hom gedoen het om 'terug te gaan na die katoenlande'. Robinson het "vir 'n woeste en woede minuut" gedroom oor "wat 'n heerlike, reinigende ding sou dit wees om te laat gaan. Te hel met die beeld van die geduldige swart freak wat ek veronderstel was om te skep. Ek kon my kolf neergooi, na die Phillies -uitgrawings stap, een van daardie wit tewe gryp en sy tande stukkend slaan met my geminagde swart vuis. ” Wetende dat hy die vooruitsigte van 'n hele wedloop dra, het Robinson dit alles verduur sonder om terug te keer, en dit het hom lewendig opgevreet. Hy het maagpyn gehad. Sy hare word voortydig grys.

Voor die aanvang van Robinson se derde seisoen in 1949, het Rickey sy nuwe ster in sy kantoor ingeroep en 'n emansipasieverklaring genoem. Rickey het aan 'n verligte Robinson gesê dat hy nie meer homself nodig het nie. 'U kan nou uself wees,' het hy gesê.

Omdat sy wang nie meer gedraai het nie, het Robinson ander spelers begin uitdaag en met skeidsregters gestry. Sommige aanhangers en sportskrywers het gevolglik die Dodgers -ster begin aanskakel. Die Sporting News het hom ''n chroniese gryper' genoem en hom as 'skeidsregter' aangespreek. Hy was nie meer die 'gemartelde held' nie, maar hy is 'n 'moeilikheidmaker', 'hoogmoed' en '' 'n oproerige ''.

Wat hy egter werklik was, was die ware Jackie Robinson, iemand wat sou uitspreek, iemand wat sou terugveg. 'As ek 'n kamer vol trofeë, toekennings en aanhalings gehad het, en 'n kind van my in die kamer kom en vra wat ek gedoen het ter verdediging van swart mense en ordentlike blankes wat veg vir vryheid, en ek moes vir daardie kind sê dat ek as ek stilgebly het, dat ek bang was, sou ek myself as 'n totale mislukking in die hele lewe moes beskou, 'skryf Robinson.

Toe sy speeldae na die 1956 -seisoen tot 'n einde kom, was Robinson steeds 'n uitgesproke burgerregte -kruisvaarder van die veld af. Vir meer as 'n dekade het hy in die raad van die National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) gedien en geld ingesamel vir die Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). In sy weeklikse rubriek in die New York Post, het Robinson hom uitgespreek teen die dwaasheid binne en buite bofbal, en hy het die Freedom National Bank, 'n finansiële instelling wat Afro-Amerikaners in Harlem bedien, gesukkel en gesukkel het om verbande en besigheidslenings te kry. Hy het presidente beywer en protesteer saam met Martin Luther King, jr., Wat die bofbalpionier ''n sit-inner voor sit-ins genoem het, 'n vryheidsryer vir vryheidsritte.' Hy was ook die eerste vise -president van Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity), gestig deur sy vriend dominee Jesse Jackson.

Gedurende die 1960's was Robinson nie bang om standpunte in te neem wat die mense in die burgerregtebeweging kwaad maak nie. Aangesien die demokraat John F. Kennedy te traag was oor burgerregte, het hy hom tydens die presidensiële veldtog van 1960 vir die Republikein Richard Nixon beywer om sy steun agt jaar later te trek. 'Hy is uitverkoop', het Robinson gesê oor Nixon se opspraak met segregasie -mense soos die senator Strom Thurmond, Suid -Carolina tydens die presidensiële veldtog van 1968. 'Hy het homself geprostitueer om die Suidelike stem te kry.' Robinson het ook uit die raad van die NAACP bedank en meen dat dit "nie reageer op die behoeftes en doelstellings van die swart massas nie."

Alhoewel Robinson vandag 'n baie bewonderde figuur was, het Robinson byna identiese politieke standpunte ingeneem as sommige hedendaagse atlete wat opspraak verwek. 'Ek kan nie staan ​​en die volkslied sing nie. Ek kan die vlag nie groet nie, ”het Robinson in sy outobiografie van 1972 geskryf. 'Ek weet ek is 'n swart man in 'n wit wêreld. In 1972, in 1947, by my geboorte in 1919, weet ek dat ek dit nooit laat maak het nie. ”

'N Kwarteeu nadat hy die kleurgrens gebreek het, betreur Robinson die gebrek aan rassegelykheid in bofbal. Hy het die groot ligaspanne gekritiseer omdat hulle nie Afro-Amerikaners as bestuurders, afrigters en bestuurslede in diens geneem het nie. Hy het ingestem om die eerste veld voor Game 2 van die 1972 World Series uit te gooi - maar slegs as hy nie gesensor was nie. 'As u mense verwag dat ek my denke of my toespraak moet verander, dan vergis u, want ek gaan dit eenvoudig nie doen nie,' het Robinson aan 'n uitvoerende hoof van die Major League Baseball gesê.

Robinson was getrou aan sy woord. 'Ek is baie trots en bly om vanmiddag hier te wees', het hy aan die uitverkoopskare in Cincinnati gesê en miljoene wat tuis gekyk het, 'maar ek moet erken dat ek baie blyer en trotser sal wees as ek na die derde basis kyk eendag afrigter en sien hoe 'n swart gesig in bofbal regkom. ”

Robinson sou egter nie die kans kry om die rasseversperring te sien val nie, want hy is nege dae later dood. Sy laaste openbare verskyning bewys die ware maatstaf van 'n man wat nie geneig is om sy tong te byt nie.


Laai nou af!

Ons het u maklik gemaak om 'n PDF -e -boek te vind sonder om te grawe. En deur toegang tot ons e -boeke aanlyn te hê of dit op u rekenaar te stoor, het u maklike antwoorde met Wie was Jackie Robinson Wie was. Om aan die gang te kom om te vind wie Jackie Robinson wie was, vind u tereg ons webwerf met 'n uitgebreide versameling handleidings.
Ons biblioteek is die grootste hiervan, wat letterlik honderdduisende verskillende produkte verteenwoordig het.

Uiteindelik kry ek hierdie e -boek, dankie vir al hierdie wat Jackie Robinson was wat ek nou kan kry!

Ek het nie gedink dat dit sou werk nie, my beste vriend het my hierdie webwerf gewys, en dit werk! Ek kry my gewildste e -boek

wtf hierdie wonderlike e -boek gratis ?!

My vriende is so kwaad dat hulle nie weet hoe ek al die e -boek van hoë gehalte het nie, wat hulle nie het nie!

Dit is baie maklik om kwaliteitboeke te kry)

soveel vals webwerwe. dit is die eerste een wat gewerk het! Baie dankie

wtffff ek verstaan ​​dit nie!

Kies net u klik en dan die aflaai -knoppie en voltooi 'n aanbod om die e -boek te begin aflaai. As daar 'n opname is, neem dit slegs 5 minute, probeer 'n opname wat vir u werk.


Laai nou af!

Ons het u maklik gemaak om 'n PDF -e -boek te vind sonder om te grawe. En deur toegang tot ons e -boeke aanlyn te hê of deur dit op u rekenaar te stoor, het u maklike antwoorde met Wie was Jackie Robinson Wie was. Om aan die gang te kom om te vind wie Jackie Robinson wie was, vind u tereg ons webwerf met 'n uitgebreide versameling handleidings.
Ons biblioteek is die grootste hiervan, wat letterlik honderdduisende verskillende produkte verteenwoordig het.

Uiteindelik kry ek hierdie e -boek, dankie vir al hierdie wat Jackie Robinson was wat ek nou kan kry!

Ek het nie gedink dat dit sou werk nie, my beste vriend het my hierdie webwerf gewys, en dit werk! Ek kry my gewildste e -boek

wtf hierdie wonderlike e -boek gratis ?!

My vriende is so kwaad dat hulle nie weet hoe ek al die e -boek van hoë gehalte het nie, wat hulle nie het nie!

Dit is baie maklik om kwaliteitboeke te kry)

soveel vals webwerwe. dit is die eerste een wat gewerk het! Baie dankie

wtffff ek verstaan ​​dit nie!

Kies net u klik en dan die aflaai -knoppie en voltooi 'n aanbod om die e -boek te begin aflaai. As daar 'n opname is, neem dit slegs 5 minute, probeer 'n opname wat vir u werk.


Laai nou af!

Ons het u maklik gemaak om 'n PDF -e -boek te vind sonder om te grawe. En deur toegang tot ons e -boeke aanlyn te hê of dit op u rekenaar te stoor, het u maklike antwoorde met Wie was Jackie Robinson Wie was. Om aan die gang te kom om te vind wie Jackie Robinson wie was, vind u tereg ons webwerf met 'n uitgebreide versameling handleidings.
Ons biblioteek is die grootste hiervan, wat letterlik honderdduisende verskillende produkte verteenwoordig het.

Uiteindelik kry ek hierdie e -boek, dankie vir al hierdie wat Jackie Robinson was wat ek nou kan kry!

Ek het nie gedink dat dit sou werk nie, my beste vriend het my hierdie webwerf gewys, en dit werk! Ek kry my gewildste e -boek

wtf hierdie wonderlike e -boek gratis ?!

My vriende is so kwaad dat hulle nie weet hoe ek al die e -boek van hoë gehalte het nie, wat hulle nie het nie!

Dit is baie maklik om kwaliteitboeke te kry)

soveel vals webwerwe. dit is die eerste een wat gewerk het! Baie dankie

wtffff ek verstaan ​​dit nie!

Kies net u klik en dan die aflaai -knoppie en voltooi 'n aanbod om die e -boek te begin aflaai. As daar 'n opname is, neem dit slegs 5 minute, probeer 'n opname wat vir u werk.


Sanford, Florida, bedreig Lynch Jackie Robinson

Peter Dreier is professor in politiek en voorsitter van die afdeling Urban & amp Environmental Policy aan Occidental College. Sy nuutste boek is "Die 100 grootste Amerikaners van die 20ste eeu: 'n Hall of Fame van Social Justice"(Nation Books, 2012).


Jackie Robinson saam met die Montreal Royals gedurende die lente -oefenseisoen van 1946.

Deur die Huffington Post gekruis.

Ek weet nie of een van die verslaggewers oor die verhoor van George Zimmerman die film gesien het nie 42, maar as hulle dit gehad het, sou hulle iets geleer het oor die rassistiese geskiedenis van Sanford, Florida, waar 'n jurie van ses persone (vyf van hulle wit) gister Zimmerman vrygespreek het van die skietdood van die ongewapende swart tiener Trayvon Martin.

Die film, wat vroeër vanjaar verskyn het saam met die opening van die Major League Baseball -seisoen, vertel hoe Jackie Robinson die ervaring van die sport se kleurversperring verbreek het. Robinson se kort besoek aan Sanford is een van die mees dramatiese oomblikke van die film.

Nadat hy Robinson op 'n kontrak onderteken het, het die president van Brooklyn Dodgers, tak, Rickey, hom toegewys aan Montreal Royals, sy beste minderjarige span, vir die seisoen 1946. Rickey het gedink dat Robinson in Montreal minder openlike rassisme sou ondervind as in die meeste ander klein liga -stede. Maar hy het ook geweet dat die Dodgers en die Royals hul lente-oefenkamp in Daytona Beach en hul voor-oefenkamp gehad het (waar hulle spelers probeer het om 'n kontrak te kry) in die nabygeleë Sanford, wat, net soos die res van Florida, ras was geskei en beheer deur Jim Crow -wette.

Soos beskryf in die historikus Jules Tygiel Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy, Robinson het in Maart 1946 in Sanford aangekom nadat hy en sy nuwe bruid, Rachel, hul eerste smaak van suidelike rassisme beleef het. Nadat hulle van Los Angeles na New Orleans gevlieg het, is hulle van hul aansluitingsvlug gestamp en gestrand op die lughawe in New Orleans, waar geen van die restaurante hulle sou bedien nie. Hulle vlieg later na Pensacola, Florida, waar hulle op 'n ander aansluitingsvlug na Jacksonville sou klim. Toe hulle aan boord was, is hulle uit die vliegtuig beveel en vervang met twee wit passasiers. Woedend klim hulle op 'n bus na Jacksonville. In die bus het die bestuurder vir hulle gesê om na die agterkant van die bus te beweeg, wat (anders as die sitplekke aan die voorkant) geen sitplekke gehad het nie. Na 'n lang hobbelige rit kom hulle in Jacksonville aan en skakel oor na 'n bus na Daytona Beach, waar hulle deur Wendell Smith ('n sportskrywer vir die Pittsburgh Courier, 'n prominente swart koerant) en Billy Rowe (die fotograaf van die koerant), wat die Robinsons na Sanford gery het. (Rickey het Smith en Rowe gevra om as reisgenote van die Robinsons te dien, maar die film 42 fokus slegs op Smith).

Die Orlando Sentinel 'n verhaal onder die opskrif, "Negro Stars Report." Die verhaal het gesê: "Baseball het gister 'n presedent van lang bestaan ​​gebreek toe die kortstop Jackie Robinson en die werper John Wright, twee negeratlete, vir die lentetraining by die Montreal Royals, Brooklyn se plaasklub in die International League, aangemeld het."

Maar 'n presedent wat nie verbreek is nie, was Sanford se segregasiewette. Robinson en Wright is nie toegelaat om by hul wit spanmaats aan te sluit wat in die Mayfair -hotel aan die meer, wat swartes belet het, aangesluit het nie. Daarom het Rickey gereël dat die twee swart spelers - sowel as Robinson se vrou Rachel, Smith en Rowe - in die Sanford -huis van David Brock, 'n plaaslike swart sakeman en dokter, bly.

Die Brocks, wat in 'n groot huis gewoon het, was een van Sanford se min swart gesinne in die middelklas. In Sanford om die historiese oomblik van Robinson te dek, het Bill Mardo, 'n wit sportskrywer vir die Daaglikse werker, beskryf die stad aan sy lesers.

"Sanford het die reuk. Die reuk van die Suide, die stille, lui en onheilspellende reuk van 'n miljoen lychings wat nie goed genoeg was vir die mooi palms nie. Strange Fruit Hangin 'on the Poplar Trees," het hy geskryf met verwysing na die Billie Holiday -liedjie oor lynch. Mardo het die stad se swart gedeelte besoek. "Hier is waar die negers woon. Hier is waar elke straat 'n stad is. Hier loop jy verby en die negers kyk vinnig na jou op en dan weer weg. Hier woon en sterf hulle, sommige vroeër as ander."

Robinson en Wright het die eerste twee dae van die lentetraining by hul spanmaats by die Sanford -balpark aangesluit. Maar, soos uitgebeeld in 42Op die aand van die tweede dag het 'n wit man na die Brock -huis gery en Smith, wat op die stoep sit, gewaarsku dat 'n wit skare gereed is om die swart spelers uit die stad te jaag. 'Ander manne kom,' sê hy in die film, 'hulle is nie te bly dat hy hier in Sanford bly nie. Speel bal met wit seuns. Skedaddle, dit is wat ek sou doen. hier, en hy is nog steeds hier, sal daar moeilikheid wees. "

Volgens sommige berigte het die man 'n boodskap gelewer van 'n vergadering van ongeveer honderd blanke Sanford -inwoners, waaronder die burgemeester. Die Ku Klux Klan het 'n teenwoordigheid in Sanford gehad, en daarom het Smith die bedreiging ernstig opgeneem.

Almal wat in daardie tyd in Florida woon of vertroud was, het geweet van die staat se lang geskiedenis van rasse -lynchings. Tussen 1882 en 1930 het die skares in Florida 212 swartes gelyn. Volgens 'n studie van suidelike lynchings het die staat die grootste aantal lynchings per capita in die land gehad. Vir elke 1250 swartes in Florida gedurende daardie tydperk is een lynch gelink, 'n koers wat selfs hoër was as in Mississippi, Alabama en Georgia. Drie lynchings het in die veertigerjare in Florida voorgekom, waaronder een in 1943, slegs drie jaar voor Robinson se verblyf in Florida.

Geweld onder blanke skare teen Afro -Amerikaners in Florida was wydverspreid tydens en na die Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Soos weergegee in Chris Lamb se geskiedenis van baseball se desegregasie, Sameswering van stilte, in September 1945, is 'n 60-jarige swart man wat naby Live Oak, Florida gewoon het, uit die motor verwyder, met 'n pistool geslaan, in 'n lyn geslaan en in 'n rivier gestort. Die verdagtes, insluitend 'n polisiehoof, is nie aangekla nie. . " Twee weke later het 'n wit skare in Raiford, Florida (naby Tallahassee), die swart tiener Jesse Payne in die middel van die nag ontvoer uit 'n oop en onbewaakte tronksel, hom doodgeskiet en sy liggaam op 'n snelweg 'n paar kilometer ver gelaat. .

Smith het Rickey gebel en hom vertel van die dreigement van geweld deur die Sanford -skare. Die uitvoerende hoof van Dodger het Smith aangesê om Robinson uit die stad te kry. Soos uitgebeeld in 42, Het Smith Robinson snags uit Sanford gehaal en hom na Daytona Beach geneem. (Die film ignoreer Wright heeltemal en sit Robinson in die motor van Smith sonder sy vrou Rachel). Ook in Daytona-strand moes die Robinsons, uitgesluit van die alleswit hotel waar die ander Royals gebly het, saam met 'n plaaslike swart politikus aan boord gaan.

So was dit op Daytona Beach, op 17 Maart 1946, dat Robinson sy eerste klein ligawedstryd gespeel het, 'n uitstalling tussen die Royals en die Dodgers. Tot sommige se verbasing het plaaslike amptenare die spanne toegelaat om te speel ondanks die Jim Crow -wette. Vierduisend toeskouers - 'n kwart van hulle Afro -Amerikaners, beperk tot 'n geskeide gedeelte van die sitplekke - het in die balpark saamgedrom om na hierdie historiese gebeurtenis te kyk.

Maar hulle het nie so 'n geluk in Sanford gehad nie. Op 7 April keer die koninklikes terug na Sanford om 'n uitstallingswedstryd teen die St. Paul Saints te speel. Volgens Tygiel het "stadsamptenare vir Rickey gevra om die swart tweede baseman by die Dodger-kamp te verlaat. Rickey het die versoek geïgnoreer en die Royals het weer op hul min-gebruikte bus geklim vir die rit van twintig myl na Sanford."

Die Royals het Robinson in die beginspan geplaas, en hy het 'n binnespel in die eerste beurt geklop en daarna die tweede bof gesteel. Maar onder in die tweede beurt stap die polisiehoof van Sanford die veld in en beveel Clay Hopper, bestuurder van Royals, om Robinson en Wright uit die stadion te verwyder. (Hierdie toneel word ook uitgebeeld in 42).

Na die voorval het Rickey geweier om die Royals toe te laat om te speel in 'n stad wat sy swart spelers belet, so die lente -opleiding het 'n paar wedstryde wat gekanselleer is, ingesluit; die Royals het hul padwedstryde na hul tuisveld in Daytona Beach verskuif, maar ietwat meer rasverdraagsaam as ander Florida -plekke. Plaaslike amptenare, wat bekommerd was dat swart spelers nie daarin kon speel nie, slegte publisiteit sou veroorsaak en die stad se vermoë om noordelike toeriste te lok, benadeel, het onderhandel met Rickey om Robinson toe te laat om by sy Royals -spanmaats op die veld aan te sluit.

Julian Stenstrom, sportredakteur van die Sanford Herald, het Robinson se teenwoordigheid in Sanford heeltemal geïgnoreer. Opmerklik is dat Sanford - wat homself die 'vriendelike stad' noem - 'n eerlike weergawe van hierdie verhaal op sy amptelike webwerf het, hoewel ietwat beknot.

Nadat die lente -opleiding geëindig het, het Robinson gedurende die 1946 -seisoen vir die Royals gespeel. Hy het die Internasionale Liga met 'n .349 kolfgemiddeld en 113 lopies gelei, tweede geëindig met 40 gesteelde basisse en die span gelei na 'n 100-54 seisoen en 'n triomf in die Wêreldreeks in die liga. Die volgende seisoen, wat na die Brooklyn Dodgers bevorder is, is Robinson aangewys as die nuweling van die jaar en twee jaar later is hy gekies as die waardevolste speler van die National League. Hy het sy hele loopbaan in die groot liga (1947 tot 1956) by die Dodgers deurgebring, 'n kolfgemiddeld van .311 gehad. Hy het die Dodgers na ses wimpels gelei en is in 1962 verkies tot die Hall of Fame. met sy aftrede, tot met sy dood in 1972, was Robinson 'n uitgesproke aktivis vir burgerregte. Hy het op die pieklyn geloop, geld ingesamel vir die NAACP en hard gedruk om die Amerikaanse samelewing en bofbal se bestuurslede te onderskei.

Nie een van die Robinsons sou ooit hul beproewing in Florida vergeet nie. Jackie Robinson het daaroor geskryf, sy woede nog steeds voelbaar, in sy outobiografie. Rachel Robinson vertel Arnold Rampersad, skrywer van Jackie Robinson: 'n biografie, dat hul ervarings in Florida die lente van haar ''n baie sterker, meer doelgerigte mens' gemaak het. Sy het gesê: "Ek het die sinneloosheid, die nietigheid, van mooi voorkoms en klere gesien toe 'n mens 'n euwel soos Jim Crow in die gesig staar. Ek dink ek was baie meer gereed om die wêreld waarin ons ons binnegekom het, te hanteer."

Nou, sewe en sestig jaar later, konfronteer Amerika die wêreld wat Trayvon Martin betree het toe hy op 'n sypaadjie in 'n wit omheinde gemeenskap in Sanford geloop het, met 'n grys trui met 'n kappie en 'n sak Skittles aan, en 'n wit man met 'n geweer ontmoet en 'n kop vol stereotipes.


Waarom Jackie Robinson se nalatenskap vandag saak maak

Op sy 15 April is dit die 69ste herdenking van Jackie Robinson en die eerste wedstryd in baseball in die groot liga. Gedurende die transformerende eerste somer verblind Robinson aanhangers met sy grasieuse versnelling van spoed en krag, terwyl hy met 'n stille terugkeer reageer op die kwynende haat wat hy op en van die veld af beleef het. Sy sukses het hom die bekendste swart man in Amerika gemaak en die weg gebaan vir ander talentvolle swart spelers om by hom aan te sluit in die geïntegreerde groot ligas. Dit is 'n goed vertelde verhaal, maar dit is onvolledig.

In werklikheid was Robinson 'n hardkoppige, hoogs intelligente man met diep oortuigings, wat in sy 53 jaar selde 'n geleentheid misgeloop het om vooroordeel en onreg uit te spreek en onvermoeid vir gelykheid en geleentheid vir almal gewerk het. Deur feitlik uitsluitlik te fokus op die Robinson wat die ander wang gedraai het, weier ons hom sy stem en vorm hy 'n veiliger en eenvoudiger verhaal wat ons groter gemak onthul met 'n onbedreigende, bedompte pionier wat die helpende hand van goedbedoelde blankes nodig het. Die volledige verhaal is baie meer ingewikkeld en oortuigend, en ons moet meer leer vandag, en as ons bereid is om te luister.

Die stille stoïsme wat Robinson & rsquos se vroeë dae met die Brooklyn Dodgers kenmerk het, was in stryd met sy karakter. Robinson, wat grootgeword het in die depressie-era in Pasadena, Kalifornië, het hom uitgespreek teen die onreg wat hy byna oral gesien het. Hy het opgestaan ​​teen rassistiese bure en Jim Crow -gebruike en geweier om in die geskeide afdeling in die bioskoop te sit of 'n Woolworths -etenstafel te verlaat totdat hy bedien is. Hy is eenkeer gearresteer omdat hy 'n lied gesing het wat 'n polisieman aanstootlik gevind het. 'N Ander keer het 'n beampte op die toneel gestorm van 'n argument waarin Robinson 'n omstander was, 'n geweer op hom getrek voordat hy geweet het wie die skuld is. As 'n tweede luitenant in die Amerikaanse weermag tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, het Robinson voor 'n krygsraad te staan ​​gekom nadat hy 'n bevel van 'n blanke burgerbestuurder geweier het om agter in 'n militêre bus in Fort Hood, Texas en mdashthis te beweeg, tien jaar voordat Rosa Parks & rsquos gewaagde daad van uitdaging op 'n bus in Montgomery, Ala.

Die hoofbestuurder van Brooklyn & rsquos, tak Rickey, 'n hoogs gemoedelike opportunis, het geweet van Robinson & rsquos se skrape met die wet en sy vroeë ontslag uit die Amerikaanse weermag voordat hy hom by die Dodgers onderteken het. In hierdie voorvalle het Rickey 'n man met 'n aansienlike karakter gesien, wat, hoewel hy sterk wil en uitdagend was, genoeg omgee om te slaag dat hy vir 'n tyd lank sy natuurlike impuls sou onderdruk om terug te veg in die eerste paar seisoene, maar Robinson dit meestal gedoen het. Maar sodra die plek van swartes in die spel veilig was, was dit nie meer nodig vir Robinson om stil te bly nie. En, soos president Barack Obama ons vertel het, het Jackie Robinson en ldquohad die reg om sy mening te sê baie keer gekoop. & Rdquo

Gedurende sy oorblywende speeldae gebruik Robinson sy enorme roem om aandag te vestig op die ontelbare maniere waarop sy wêreld duidelik onregverdig was. Hy kritiseer skeidsregters wat volgens hom onregverdig behandel word, eis dat hotelle gelyke toegang aan hom en sy swart spanmaats bied, en beskuldig die New York Yankees van vooroordeel omdat hulle nie swart spelers in hul span bevorder het nie. Toe die personeellede tydens 'n verjaarsdagviering vir 'n gewilde speler in die suide 'n konfederale vlag oor Ebbets Field gehys het, het Robinson gegrief. & ldquo Wie sou Jim Crow ooit weer in die balpark laat terugkom? & rdquo vra hy gegriefde spanmaats, wat die feesvieringe geniet het. Die pers, van wie baie hom ooit geprys het omdat hy die ander wang gedraai het, het sy uitgesprokenheid uitgesonder en hom ondankbaar genoem en hom aangespoor om 'n bofbalspeler te wees, nie 'n kruisvaarder nie. Bill Keefe, sportredakteur van die New Orleans Times-Picayune, verklaar dat & ldquono tien van die mees hondsdolwe segregasie -optredes soveel as Robinson vermag het om die breuk tussen die wit mense en negers te verbreed. & rdquo

Terwyl Robinson op sy eie blyk te wees, het Jimmy Cannon hom eenkeer genoem en die eensaamste man wat ek nog ooit in sport gesien het, genoem. Maar te gereeld het ons al die eer gegee aan die redders wat ons tot sy redding gekom het. Ja, tak Rickey, bygestaan ​​deur sosiale kragte wat die klimaat vir integrasie ryp gemaak het, het dit alles aan die gang gesit. En ja, Pee Wee Reese was jare lank 'n betroubare en respekvolle dubbelspelvennoot. Maar dit was Rachel Robinson, sy vrou, wat deurgaans raad gegee het oor die wysheid en 'n troostende arm om hom gedraai het toe die las van sy taak byna ondraaglik geword het.

Na bofbal het Robinson honderde koerantrubrieke oor ongelykheid en onreg geskryf en geld ingesamel vir die NAACP en SCLC. Toe Martin Luther King, Robinson, vir Robinson vra om die moraal onder burgerregtewerkers in Georgië of Alabama te verhoog, het Jackie die volgende beskikbare vlug geneem. Hy het ook met Malcolm X gespaar oor die leiding van die burgerregtebeweging, en het later buite voeling gelyk met die argumente van jonger, meer militante aktiviste wat gefrustreerd geraak het oor die stadige tempo van verandering, insluitend Muhammad Ali. Maar Robinson bly sy stem laat hoor.

Hy stomp vir politici wat volgens hom die belange van Afro -Amerikaners die beste sou ondersteun, waaronder Richard Nixon, 'n besluit waaroor hy later spyt was. Tydens die Republikeinse Nasionale Konvensie van 1964 het Robinson as 'n spesiale afgevaardigde gedien en 'n klein groepie Afro -Amerikaners byeengekom wat verlaat is toe die party skerp na regs beweeg. Die uiteindelike genomineerde was Barry Goldwater, wat teen die Burgerregtewet van 1964 gestem het en wie se ondersteuners die John Birch Society en die Ku Klux Klan insluit. Tydens 'n saamtrek buite die byeenkoms het Robinson sy afkeuring gedonder. Ek is eers 'n Amerikaanse neger, voordat ek lid is van 'n party, en hy het aan die gehoor gesê. & ldquoOns sal nie stilstaan ​​vir 'n groot party wat 'n man aanstel wat na my mening 'n grootprater is nie en 'n man wat sal probeer keer dat ons vorentoe beweeg.

Dit sal altyd belangrik wees om Jackie Robinson en rsquos se moedige terughoudendheid te eerbiedig, maar nou, meer as ooit, moet ons hom ten volle onthou, sy uitgesprokenheid vier, selfs as dit verkeerd is, en sy lewe laat dink as 'n herinnering dat rassisme en onreg uit die weg geruim word voltydse werk wat konstante waaksaamheid en onwrikbare aktivisme verg.


Nuwe dokumentêr skilder 'n lewendige portret van Jackie

Ken Burns ' Jackie Robinson & quot het 'n plek in die hoof van die klas in filmweergawes van Robinson se verhaal.

Die tweedelige, vier uur lange dokumentêr wat hierdie week op PBS uitgesaai is, is 'n meer deeglike, meer omvattende, vollediger portret van Robinson as enigiets wat voorheen gesien is.

Burns, die voorste dokumentêr van Amerika, het 'n ingeboude voordeel, selfs bo sy vaardigheid van filmmakers en sy verslaggewende ywer. Hy skep 'n geleerde biografie, nie 'n kommersiële film nie.

Die tydsberekening van die uitsending van 'Jackie Robinson' was amper ideaal. Vrydag vier Major League Baseball die 69ste herdenking van Robinson se breek van baseball se rassehindernis en verander die aard van die Amerikaanse samelewing in die proses.

Dit is die tweede deel van die dokumentêr, Robinson se lewe, na die epiese rasse -deurbraak, waarin Burns nuwe grond baan. Aanvanklik het Robinson gehoor gegee aan die advies van die tak van Rickey om stil te bly staan ​​ten spyte van doodsdreigemente, rassistiese bespotting en allerhande mishandeling. Maar met verloop van tyd het Robinson, getrou aan sy karakter en sy moed, uitgesproke geword oor die onderwerpe van onreg en burgerregte.

'n Deel van wat ek bewonder oor Jackie Robinson, 'het president Barack Obama in die dokumentêr gesê,' presies sy vermoë om bofbal en die eerste twee jaar van integrasie te benader op 'n manier wat in stryd is met sy karakter - of sy fundamentele idee van wat reg was en verkeerd - in diens van 'n groter saak.

'Maar dit is nie iets wat vir hom sinvol was om te onderhou nie. Hy het die reg om sy mening te sê baie keer gekoop. & Quot

"Dink aan my as die soort neger wat tot die gevolgtrekking kom dat hy niks sal smeek dat hy redelik sal wees nie, maar hy is verdomd moeg om geduldig te wees," het Robinson gesê.

Onder die Kaukasiese bevolking was die reaksies op die meer militante Robinson natuurlik gemeng.

Vroeër het hulle van Jack gehou, want hy was 'n goeie seun en hy het gedoen wat hulle gedink het hy moet doen en sy mond gehou, 'het die vrou van Robinson, Rachel, in die dokumentêr gesê. En sodra hy besluit het om homself te verdedig, sou hulle hom hoogmoedig noem, hom 'n luidrugtige mond noem om hom in diskrediet te bring. & quot

Niks wat in hierdie dokumentêr gesê of gesien word nie, sal die impak van Robinson as pionier op burgerregte verminder. Maar almal maak foute, en Burns werk dit nie af nie.

Robinson se verskyning voor die House Un-American Activities Committee, waarin hy die opmerkings van Paul Robeson veroordeel het, sal as 'n misstap beskou word. Robeson was 'n bekende sanger en akteur, sowel as 'n prominente burgerregte en politieke aktivis van 'n linkse buiging. Robinson het die soort kommentaar oor Robeson gemaak wat presies was wat die mees reaksionêre lede van die komitee sou gehoop het.

Robinson se steun van Richard M. Nixon in die presidensiële veldtog van 1960 teen John F. Kennedy, kan ook met die voordeel van agterna beskou word as 'n ernstige verval.

Die dokumentêr maak hierdie punte duidelik, maar beklemtoon ook dat Robinson 'n onvermoeide en kragtige teenwoordigheid in die stryd om burgerregte was. Hy verstaan ​​sy prominensie en hy verstaan ​​dat hy 'n belangrike rol in die burgerregtebeweging moet speel.

"Jack het nooit daaroor gepraat om die aspirasies van ons ras as 'n las te dra nie," het Rachel Robinson gesê. Hy het altyd daaroor gepraat as 'n soort geleentheid. Hy was trots, baie trots toe hy op een of ander manier daarin slaag, en verwoes toe hy dit nie gedoen het nie.

Maar hy het geweet dat ons rasse -gelykheid in Amerika moet hê, en as hy nie sy deel sou doen en ander aanmoedig om hul deel te doen nie, sou daar geen verandering plaasgevind het nie. & quot

'N Ander bewonderenswaardige deel van Burns ' se werk is die klem op die rol wat Rachel Robinson speel. Jackie Robinson was natuurlik die primêre openbare figuur, maar die Robinson -huwelik was 'n gelyke vennootskap. Rachel Robinson bly tot vandag toe 'n ikoniese figuur in die geskiedenis van Amerikaanse burgerregte.

Daar was hartseer in Robinson se latere jare. Sy oudste seun, wat voorheen probleme ondervind het met dwelmmisbruik, is dood in 'n motorongeluk. Robinson het self 'n verswakte gesondheid as gevolg van diabetes en 'n harttoestand gehad en is in 1972 op 53 -jarige ouderdom oorlede.

Dit was 'n lewe wat groot triomf en diepgaande tragedie geken het. Hierdie dokumentêr vang die hele spektrum vas.

The popular movie "42" was a suitable tribute to Robinson as filmed entertainment. But "Jackie Robinson" is a suitable tribute to Robinson as history.

Ken Burns is to be commended, again. His groundbreaking "The Civil War" documentary and his splendid "Baseball" documentary set a standard of both contextual accuracy and an ability to accurately sound precisely the right notes of place and time in American history. In this instance, Burns' riveting portrayal of Jackie Robinson gives this authentic American hero his due, in the best of times and the worst.


The stadiums are no longer silent

This passing month, Johan Cruyff, a Dutch man who was many things to many people, died in his house in Barcelona. To soccer fans, he was the “Pythagoras in boots,” but to the Catalans, he was the man who defeated the fascist Francisco Franco.

His father passed away when he was 12, and his mother began cleaning the stadium near their house to earn a living. They could not afford to send Johan to school, so he started fixing cleats and drawing chalk lines for their local team. One day, quite conveniently, the manager of the Dutch soccer club Ajax saw the little boy dribbling his ball and immediately recruited him. It was a classic success story. As expected, the hero of our story became an international success and the first ever superstar of European soccer. He helped Ajax win many Champions League cups and was deemed a national hero. However, his legacy was not yet complete.

In 1973, Cruyff got offers from the two football giants of Spain: Real Madrid and Barcelona. Real Madrid, at the time, was Franco’s baby . He personally oversaw the management of the team, supported it with government funds and saw Real Madrid’s global success as the success of his dictatorship in Madrid.

Meanwhile, Barcelona struggled with relegation and consistently finished near the bottom in the league. It was the hub for the Catalonian independence movement from Spain. So it came as a shock to the world when Cruyff picked Barcelona over Madrid for almost half the annual salary. Although he wasn’t outspoken about it when he made his decision, he later revealed that he felt uncomfortable “ playing for a dictator .” After his transfer, Barcelona defeated Real Madrid 5-0 and Cruyff named his own son Jordi after the patron saint of Catalonia, an act that was banned and punishable in Franco’s Spain. From this point on, Cruyff was known as “El Salvador,” the man who saved Barcelona from Franco. Despite these accomplishments, his activism was far from over.

The Argentinian military overthrew the elected President Peron in 1976 and established its junta, a military government, that was supposed to host the 1978 World Cup. The junta had spent a tremendous amount of resources to promote its public image and had hired Burson and Martseller, the New York-based PR company, to highlight the successes of Argentinian organization. However, all this work and energy was overshadowed by Cruyff’s decision to not attend the World Cup. Even in the midst of the finals, popular newspapers were still discussing Cruyff’s absence and that he was protesting against the military coup.

Kruyff was not alone he stood in a long line of people who understood that sports were not just games.

The writer Thomas Wolfe described Hitler’s opening speech in the 1936 Berlin Olympics games as “almost a religious event, the crowd screaming, swaying in unison and begging for Hitler.” The Nazi government “cleaned up” the host city by gathering all the Gypsies in the Berlin-Marzahn concentration camp and banning all their Jewish athletes from competing. They saw the games as a chance to prove Aryan superiority.

Many athletes of color chose not to participate in the Games, but Jesse Owens, an African-American track runner, traveled to Berlin to compete nonetheless. He encountered blatant racism: U pon his arrival to the Olympic Village, people surrounded his train car and started snipping at him with scissors, forcing him to retreat. In spite of this hostile introduction, he competed, set world records and defeated many Aryan athletes. Hitler was supposed to present all record-setting athletes with their medals as chancellor. But not so surprisingly, he opted to skip Owens. I am certain that Owens carried Hitler’s dislike of him as a badge of honor for the rest of his life.

The recent past is filled with such defiant athletes. Muhammed Ali boldly saying , “I got no quarrel with those Viet Cong” and being sentenced to five years in prison for draft evasion. John Carlos and Tommie Smith gesturing the black power salute in the 1968 Olympics following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. Billy Jean King defeating Bobby Riggs in tennis as a call for equality for women. At times, athletes didn’t need to be this outspoken. Sometimes just their presence was enough. In 1947, Jackie Robinson made history by becoming the first African American to play major league baseball. In spite of all the racism he faced, he kept playing.

Without a doubt, all of these men and women have greatly contributed to our political evolution but why did I write about all of this?

Because something peculiar is going on in our stadiums today.

LeBron James tweets a picture of the Miami Heat players wearing hoodies with their heads bowed in support of Trayvon Martin. Fans in Russia and Ukraine are chanting for peace in soccer games. This past Labor Day hosted many protests organized inside stadiums in China for better workers rights. Soccer games throughout Germany, Greece and Turkey are being dominated by fan slogans on the Syrian crisis.

Thinking that sports are just games is an easy mistake to make. But often times, stadiums reflect the very pulse of nations. They are the natural gathering place of discontent and weary people who have nowhere else to seek change in. And guess what? The stadiums are no longer silent.

Contact Ali Sarilgan at sarilgan ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Sanford, Fla., Threatened to Lynch Jackie Robinson

Peter Dreier is professor of politics and chair of the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His latest book is "The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame" (Nation Books, 2012).


Jackie Robinson with the Montreal Royals during the 1946 spring training season.

Cross-posted from the Huffington Post.

I don't know if any of the reporters covering George Zimmerman's trial saw the film 42, but if they had they would have learned something about the racist history of Sanford, Florida, where a six-person jury (five of them white) yesterday acquitted Zimmerman of the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.

The film, which came out earlier this year to coincide with the opening of the Major League Baseball season, recounts Jackie Robinson's experience breaking the sport's color barrier. Robinson's brief visit to Sanford is one of the film's most dramatic moments.

After signing Robinson to a contract, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey assigned him to Montreal Royals, its top minor league team, for the 1946 season. Rickey figured that Robinson would face less overt racism in Montreal than in most other minor league cities. But he also knew that the Dodgers and the Royals had their spring training camp in Daytona Beach and their pre-training camp (where they gave tryouts to players trying to get a contract) in nearby Sanford which, like the rest of Florida, was racially segregated and governed by Jim Crow laws.

As described in historian Jules Tygiel's Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy, Robinson arrived in Sanford in March 1946 after he and his new bride, Rachel, experienced their first taste of Southern racism. After flying from Los Angeles to New Orleans, they were bumped from their connecting flight and were stranded in the New Orleans airport, where none of the restaurants would serve them. They took a later flight to Pensacola, Florida, where they were to get on another connecting flight to Jacksonville. Once on board, they were ordered off the plane and replaced with two white passengers. Furious, they boarded a bus for Jacksonville. On the bus, the driver told them to move to the back of the bus, which (unlike the seats up-front) had no reclining seats. After a long bumpy ride they arrived in Jacksonville and switched to a bus to Daytona Beach, where they were picked up by Wendell Smith (a sportswriter for the Pittsburgh Courier, a prominent black newspaper) and Billy Rowe (the paper's photographer), who drove the Robinsons to Sanford. (Rickey had asked Smith and Rowe to serve as the Robinsons' traveling companions, but the film 42 only focuses on Smith).

Die Orlando Sentinel featured a story under the headline, "Negro Stars Report." The story said: "Baseball broke a precedent of long standing yesterday when shortstop Jackie Robinson and pitcher John Wright, two negro athletes, reported for spring training with the Montreal Royals, Brooklyn's farm club in the International League."

But one precedent that wasn't broken was Sanford's segregation laws. Robinson and Wright were not permitted to join their white teammates who were staying at the lakefront Mayfair Hotel, which barred blacks. So Rickey arranged for the two black players -- as well as Robinson's wife Rachel, Smith, and Rowe -- to stay at the Sanford home of David Brock, a local black businessman and doctor.

The Brocks, who lived in a large house, were one of Sanford's few middle-class black families. In Sanford to cover Robinson's historic moment, Bill Mardo, a white sportswriter for the Daaglikse werker, described the city to his readers.

"Sanford's got the smell. The smell of the South, the silent, lazy and ominous smell of a million lychings that weren't good enough for the pretty palms. Strange Fruit Hangin' on the Poplar Trees," he wrote, referring to the Billie Holiday song about lynching. Mardo visited the city's black section. "Here's where the Negroes live. Here's where every street is a shanty-town. Here's where you walk by and the Negroes look up at you quickly and then away again. Here's where they live and die, some sooner than others."

Robinson and Wright joined their teammates at the Sanford ballpark for the first two days of spring training. But, as depicted in 42, on the evening of the second day, a white man drove to the Brock home and warned Smith, who was sitting on the porch, that a white mob was ready to run the black players out of town. "Other fellas is comin'," he says in the movie, "They ain't too happy about him stayin' here in Sanford. Playin' ball with white boys. Skedaddle, that's what I'd do. If'n they get here, and he's still here, there's gonna be trouble."

According to some accounts, the man was delivering a message from a meeting of about one hundred white Sanford residents, including the mayor. The Ku Klux Klan had a presence in Sanford, so Smith took the threat seriously.

Anyone living in or familiar with Florida at that time knew of the state's long history of racial lynchings. Between 1882 and 1930, Florida mobs lynched 212 blacks. The state had the highest number of lynchings per capita in the nation, according to a study of Southern lynchings. For every 1,250 blacks in Florida during that period, one was lynched, a rate even higher than in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Three lynchings occurred in Florida in the 1940s, including one in 1943, only three years before Robinson's Florida sojourn.

Indeed, white mob violence against African Americans in Florida was widespread during and after World War II. As recounted in Chris Lamb's history of baseball's desegregation, Conspiracy of Silence, in September 1945, a 60-year-old black man who lived near Live Oak, Florida "was removed from is car, pistol-whipped, lynched, and dumped into a river. The suspects, including a police chief, were not indicted." Two weeks later, a white mob in Raiford, Florida (near Tallahassee), kidnapped black teenager Jesse Payne from an unlocked and unguarded jail cell in the middle of the night, shot him to death, and left his body on a highway several miles away.

Smith called Rickey and told him about the threat of violence by the Sanford mob. The Dodger executive told Smith to get Robinson out of town. As depicted in 42, Smith whisked Robinson out of Sanford at night, taking him to Daytona Beach. (The film ignores Wright entirely and puts Robinson in Smith's car without his wife Rachel). In Daytona Beach, too, the Robinsons, barred from the all-whites hotel where the other Royals were staying, had to board with a local black politician.

So it was in Daytona Beach, on March 17, 1946, that Robinson played his first minor league game, an exhibition between the Royals and the Dodgers. To the surprise of some, local officials allowed the teams to play despite the Jim Crow laws. Four thousand spectators -- a quarter of them African Americans, confined to a segregated section of the seats -- crowded into the ballpark to watch this historic event.

But they had no such luck in Sanford. On April 7, the Royals returned to Sanford to play an exhibition game against the St. Paul Saints. According to Tygiel, "City officials asked Rickey to leave the black second baseman at the Dodger camp. Rickey ignored the request and the Royals again boarded their little-used bus for the twenty-mile ride to Sanford."

The Royals put Robinson in the starting lineup and he beat out an infield single in the first inning, then stole second base. But in the bottom of the second inning, the Sanford police chief walked onto the field and ordered Royals manager Clay Hopper to remove Robinson and Wright from the stadium. (This scene, too, is depicted in 42).

After that incident, Rickey refused to allow the Royals to play in any city that barred his black players, so the spring training included a few cancelled games instead, the Royals moved their road games to their home field in Daytona Beach, which was segregated but somewhat more racially tolerant than other Florida locales. Worried that barring black players from playing there would generate bad publicity and hurt the city's ability to attract northern tourists, local officials negotiated with Rickey to permit Robinson to join his Royals teammates on the field.

Julian Stenstrom, sports editor of the Sanford Herald, completely ignored Robinson's presence in Sanford. Remarkably, Sanford - which calls itself the "friendly city" - has an honest, although somewhat santized, version of this story on its official website.

After spring training ended, Robinson played for the Royals during the 1946 season. He led the International League with a .349 batting average and 113 runs, finished second with 40 stolen bases, and led the team to a 100-54 season and a triumph in the minor league World Series. The next season, promoted to the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson was named Rookie of the Year and two years later was chosen the National League's Most Valuable Player. He spent his entire major league career (1947 to 1956) with the Dodgers, had a .311 lifetime batting average, he led the Dodgers to six pennants, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1962. During his playing days, and after his retirement, until his death in 1972, Robinson was an outspoken activist for civil rights. He walked picket lines, raised money for the NAACP, and pushed hard to desegregate American society and baseball's management ranks.

Neither of the Robinsons would ever forget their Florida ordeal. Jackie Robinson wrote about it, his anger still palpable, in his autobiography. Rachel Robinson told Arnold Rampersad, author of Jackie Robinson: A Biography, that their experiences in Florida that spring made her "a much stronger, more purposeful human being." She said: "I saw the pointlessness, the vanity, of good looks and clothes when one faced an evil like Jim Crow. I think I was much more ready now to deal with the world we had entered."

Now, sixty-seven years later, America confronts the world that Trayvon Martin entered when he walked down a sidewalk in a white gated community in Sanford, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and carrying a bag of Skittles, and met a white man with a gun and a head full of stereotypes.


Jackie Robinson was asked to denounce Paul Robeson. Instead, he went after Jim Crow.

/>Brooklyn Dodgers star Jackie Robinson speaks before the House Un-American Activities Committee on July 18, 1949. Robinson said African Americans would fight for this country “against Russia or any other enemy.” William J. Smith/AP Photo

O n the morning of July 18, 1949, Jackie Robinson, dressed sharply in a tan gabardine suit, arrived at a packed room in Washington, D.C., to testify before a congressional committee about the loyalty of black Americans. Flashbulbs popped as Robinson raised his right hand and swore to tell the truth. The subject was stage star Paul Robeson, a prominent Communist sympathizer and one of the most outspoken black men in the country.

Georgia congressman John S. Wood, chairman of the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), had invited the Brooklyn Dodgers hero to testify. HUAC was founded in the late 1930s to investigate subversive activity and political organizations suspected of communism. Segregationists on the committee suspected that civil rights activists were members of the Communist Party. In 1948, however, HUAC&rsquos own investigators had concluded that Communists had made little progress in recruiting African Americans.

But a speech given by Robeson in April 1949 before the Soviet-sponsored World Peace Congress in Paris had renewed the committee&rsquos interest in the subject. Before Robeson even began his extemporaneous talk in Paris, an Associated Press reporter had filed a story quoting the actor as saying, &ldquoIt is unthinkable that American Negroes would go to war on behalf of those who have oppressed us for generations against the Soviet Union which in one generation has raised our people to the full dignity of mankind.&rdquo

Singer Paul Robeson gestures during his speech at the World Peace Conference held on April 20, 1949 at the Pleyel Hall in Paris, France.

Immediately, U.S. politicians and newspaper writers branded Robeson a traitor for suggesting that black Americans would refuse to defend the United States if the Cold War turned hot. Robeson said he had been misquoted and had talked about how many Americans did not want a World War III against the Soviet Union. But his activism on behalf of oppressed workers, his challenges to racism at home and colonialism abroad, as well as his association with leftist organizations and his praise for the Soviet Union already had made him a target of critics in the press and the halls of Congress.

Perhaps this sounds familiar. As black athletes and civil rights advocates, Robeson and Robinson laid the foundation for Colin Kaepernick&rsquos emergence as an activist-athlete. Kaepernick&rsquos political actions can be traced to the radical black tradition, a legacy shaped in part by Robeson, the son of a runaway slave, a former athlete and entertainer turned activist, and an opponent of the intertwining forces of capitalism and racism. Yet Kaepernick&rsquos activism also derives from the example of Robinson, a proponent of the democratic tradition and a vocal critic of lynching, police brutality and the disenfranchisement of black people.

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Since World War I, when Robeson first became famous as an All-American football player at Rutgers University, white Americans expected black athletes to be seen and not heard. In the age of Jim Crow, black athletes such as Robeson, and later Robinson, came to be viewed as symbols of the country&rsquos meritocracy, barometers of America&rsquos racial progress. The rules for black athletes were never simple. But everyone understood that they were expected to perform without questioning the exploitative system that allowed them to play sports but discouraged them from disputing the social order &mdash a lesson Kaepernick learned when he first took a knee during the national anthem.

All-American football player Paul Robeson at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., 1917.

The parallels between Kaepernick and Robeson demonstrate that white Americans have long insisted that black citizens should remain uncritically patriotic toward the U.S. government and its policing institutions. When they used their platforms to confront racial injustice, critics maligned them, questioned their love for America and suggested that they leave the country. One could argue that both men were blackballed from their profession and barred from performing because they defied the political boundaries imposed upon black athletes and entertainers.

Although Kaepernick settled his legal battle against the NFL owners, whom he accused of colluding to keep him out of the league, Robeson did not have the same legal power in 1949 to fight against booking agents who blacklisted him or a government that revoked his passport the following year. Yet Robeson maintained his belief in the promise of America&rsquos democratic principles. &ldquoI love my country,&rdquo he told a writer from the Pittsburgh Courier in July 1949. &ldquoI have many calls to go to other countries to sing but I&rsquom going to stay right here and carry on the fight.&rdquo

Although Robeson and Robinson diverged ideologically, they embodied the same spirit of resistance. Many remember Robinson as a conservative integrationist, but especially later in life, his politics were too complex for party labels. In 1972, more than 40 years before Kaepernick started the &ldquotake a knee&rdquo movement, Robinson wrote in his autobiography, I Never Had It Made, &ldquoI cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag I know that I am a black man in a white world.&rdquo

Jackie Robinson greets the members of the UCLA basketball team after they defeated City College of New York on December 28, 1949 in New York City. Robinson lettered in four sports, including basketball, while attending UCLA.

Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

Except for Joe Louis, no black American was more famous in 1949 than Robinson. When he received the invitation to testify before the HUAC, he not only led the National League in batting average, he had also received more votes for the All-Star Game than any other player &mdash proof of his popularity among black and white fans alike. A military veteran and devoted Christian who opposed communism, Robinson was viewed as a &ldquoNoble Negro,&rdquo an exemplar of accomplishment and appropriate behavior for black people. That&rsquos why the committee chairman turned to him to reassure the nation that black citizens loved America and would defend it against the Soviets.

In the age of the Red Scare, Robinson believed he had little choice but to testify, even though Wood had not issued a subpoena. If he declined, he risked his baseball career and being smeared as a communist sympathizer, but he also did not want to become &ldquoa tool of the witch hunters&rdquo or a pawn for white men seeking to denigrate a successful black man. In his 1960 book, Wait Till Next Year: The Life Story of Jackie Robinson, Robinson wrote that Wood was not really concerned with &ldquoestablishing the patriotism of American Negroes&rdquo as much as he wanted to pit him against Robeson and advance the idea that anyone who spoke out &ldquoagainst racial discrimination and segregation was a tool of world communism.&rdquo

Robinson faced pressure from politicians, fans and reporters who all had opinions about whether he should testify. Stacks of letters and telegrams arrived at his home and at Ebbets Field. Friends urged him to speak before the HUAC, while others maintained that he should tell the committee to &ldquogo to hell.&rdquo In Wait Till Next Year, he noted that some black Americans warned him not to allow white politicians to divide &ldquothe colored people of the world.&rdquo Robinson understood, too, that if he publicly criticized Robeson, a man he and many others admired, he jeopardized his own popularity among black people.

Robinson sought the counsel of the one man he trusted more than any other with his career: Dodgers president and co-owner Branch Rickey. An outspoken anti-communist, Rickey insisted that he appear before the committee. Still, Robinson wavered. He did not like the idea of having to defend his own patriotism or the loyalty of black people. And, at the time, he viewed himself more as a symbol than a leading voice in the black freedom movement. &ldquoI&rsquom not sure, Mr. Rickey. I&rsquom not a politician. I&rsquom a ballplayer,&rdquo he said.

Jackie Robinson attempts to steal home during a Cubs game in Chicago on May 17, 1948. Gil Hodges is at bat.

Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images

Rickey reminded him that the &ldquoGreat Experiment&rdquo that they started together, the integration of professional baseball, remained unfinished. In 1949, only three of the 16 major league teams included black players. In Wait Till Next Year, Robinson recalled Rickey saying that if he testified it &ldquowould be the final stroke necessary to establish forever the Negro&rsquos place in baseball &mdash and possibly America.&rdquo

Robinson eventually decided to testify, not out of patriotism but, as he later told members of Congress, out of &ldquoa sense of responsibility.&rdquo He feared that Robeson&rsquos comments might convince white Americans that black citizens could not be trusted or, worse, that they were the enemy. For Robinson, testifying before the HUAC meant combating a dangerous narrative &ldquothat Negroes were waiting eagerly to betray the United States.&rdquo He had a duty, therefore, to dispel any lie that might give white supremacists license to inflict violence against black citizens.

By the time Robinson announced that he would appear before the HUAC, Robeson had returned home from Paris. During a rally in his honor at the Rockland Palace in Harlem, he defended himself against the &ldquoUncle Toms&rdquo who questioned his &ldquoAmericanism.&rdquo Urging black citizens to join the fight against injustice and erase the vestiges of slavery, he said, &ldquoWe do not want to die in vain anymore on foreign battlefields for Wall Street and the greedy supporters of domestic fascism. If we must die, let it be in Mississippi or Georgia.&rdquo

If we must die, he added, &ldquoLet it be where we are lynched.&rdquo

Paul Robeson pickets the White House, protesting discriminatory employment practices at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

Robinson&rsquos appearance before the HUAC took place about a year after President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981 abolishing segregation in the armed forces. For help in preparing his testimony, Robinson enlisted Lester Granger, executive director of the National Urban League and a member of the Fahy Committee, which oversaw the desegregation of the military. Robinson understood that his presence on the Dodgers made him the most visible test case for integration. He also knew that his performance on the field and his testimony had the potential to influence the racial attitudes of millions of Americans.

Before he testified on Capitol Hill, Robinson told reporters that black Americans would protect the United States against any enemy, just as they did during World War II when he served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. But Robinson knew well the racism of the nation&rsquos armed forces. Stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1944, he refused to move when a white bus driver ordered him to the back of an Army bus. Charged with insubordination, disturbing the peace and conduct unbecoming an officer, Robinson ultimately was found not guilty of all charges. In his biography, Robinson noted that on the eve of his HUAC testimony, he could &ldquonot help but sense the irony of the fact that I, a Negro once court-martialed for opposing Army Jim Crow, should now be asked to pledge the Negro&rsquos loyalty to the Army.&rdquo

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Robinson delivered his testimony with poise but little flair. He may have respected Robeson, but he did not defend him, even though the actor wrote him a letter insisting that the press had distorted his Paris remarks. Refusing to be pulled into a feud with Robeson, the Dodgers star had little to say about him except that &ldquoif Mr. Robeson actually&rdquo said that black Americans would not fight in a war against the Soviets, such a statement seemed rather &ldquosilly.&rdquo

What made Robinson&rsquos speech so powerful was the way he used the spotlight to contest racism and advocate for integration, making clear that black citizens&rsquo protests for social justice derived not from some communist-inspired conspiracy but from their desire for equality and their faith in democracy. His testimony, a defiant verbal assault on Jim Crow, signaled the beginning of his political liberation:

&ldquoWhite people must realize that the more a Negro hates Communism because it opposes democracy, the more he is going to hate any other influence that kills off democracy in this country&mdashand that goes for racial discrimination in the Army, and segregation on trains and buses, and job discrimination because of religious beliefs or color or place of birth.

&ldquoAnd one other thing the American public ought to understand, if we are to make progress in this matter: The fact that it is a Communist who denounces injustice in the courts, police brutality, and lynching when it happens doesn&rsquot change the truth of his charges. Just because communists kick up a big fuss over racial discrimination when it suits their purposes, a lot of people try to pretend that the whole issue is a creation of Communist imagination.

&ldquoBut they are not fooling anyone with this kind of pretense, and talk about &lsquoCommunists stirring up Negroes to protest&rsquo only makes present misunderstanding worse than ever. Negroes were stirred up long before there was a Communist Party, and they&rsquoll stay stirred up long after the party has disappeared &mdash unless Jim Crow has disappeared by then as well.&rdquo

Testifying before the HUAC changed Robinson. He no longer thought of himself as just a symbol of the civil rights movement. For two years, he endured abuse and harassment on and off the field, vowing to turn the other cheek for the sake of the Great Experiment. But afterward he refused to remain silent. In the coming years, he would use his fame to confront Jim Crow, giving speeches for the NAACP, marching with civil rights leaders and writing political columns that had nothing to do with sports.

When Robinson finished testifying, the room erupted with applause, and someone shouted from the back of the gallery, &ldquoAmen!&rdquo

The marshals of the Youth March for Integrated Schools demonstration in Washington D.C., October 25, 1958. Among those pictured are Jackie Robinson (left), his son Jackie Robinson Jr., labor and Civil Rights leader A Philip Randolph (center rear, in bow tie), dancer Julie Robinson (second right, with braided hair), and her husband, singer and Civil Rights activist Harry Belafonte (far right).

The following day, newspaper writers, especially white ones, praised his performance. Headlines blared: &ldquoJACKIE HITS ROBESON&rsquoS RED PITCH,&rdquo &ldquoJACKIE HITS A DOUBLE &mdash AGAINST COMMUNISTS AND JIM CROW,&rdquo &ldquoJACKIE ROBINSON, AMERICAN.&rdquo Die New York Times printed a story about him on Page 1, while the New York Daily News called him &ldquoquite a credit, not only to his own race, but to all the American people.&rdquo

While white writers celebrated Robinson&rsquos patriotic comments and his apparent dismissal of Robeson, the black press was divided over his performance. The New York Age reported that the people of Harlem were &ldquosplit sharply on the issue,&rdquo although the New York Amsterdam News could not find &ldquoone person&rdquo in Brooklyn who disagreed with Robinson. Many black columnists praised him for forcefully denouncing segregation and discrimination, though a Pittsburgh Courier columnist argued that Robinson had been a &ldquostooge&rdquo for the HUAC.

The editors at the Daaglikse werker, the official newspaper of the Communist Party USA, accused Robinson of &ldquoplaying ball with the Ku Kluxers of the Un-American Committee,&rdquo harming &ldquohis own people and his country.&rdquo Since 1936, when the Daaglikse werker first added a sports section, Communist scribes had campaigned for the integration of Major League Baseball. So, too, did Robeson. In 1943, he met with a group of black sportswriters and MLB owners, arguing that if he could play football with white men, and play Othello on Broadway with white actors, then a black man could certainly make it in baseball. It&rsquos doubtful that Robeson&rsquos actions had any effect on Rickey&rsquos decision to sign Robinson, but Daaglikse werker columnist Bill Mardo claimed that Robinson had turned his back on Robeson, the man who had &ldquopersonally paved the way&rdquo for his place in Major League Baseball.

The HUAC did not invite Robeson to testify until 1956, long after the committee had damaged his reputation. After Robinson visited Washington, however, reporters hounded Robeson for a rebuttal. During a two-hour news conference at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem, he expressed his profound respect for Robinson, praising him for embracing &ldquohis responsibility to be more than just a ballplayer.&rdquo But he also believed that &ldquoRobinson, by appearing before this committee, has performed a profound political act that has aided those who would enslave the Negro.&rdquo

Police try to hold back crowds and make a lane through which followers of singer Paul Robeson can leave scene of concert in Peekskill in New York, Sept. 4, 1949 after the clash between Robeson&rsquos supporters and members of veteran organizations. At right, four African Americans walk through the swaying police lines.

About a month later, in late August, when Robeson was scheduled to perform at a civil rights benefit concert in Peekskill, New York, a mob of angry white veterans set up roadblocks, smashed cars, buses and the stage, burned crosses and Robeson in effigy, and put a few dozen of his fans in the hospital. Thankfully, Robeson escaped unharmed.

The day after the &ldquoPeekskill riot,&rdquo Mardo approached Robinson in the Dodgers&rsquo dugout. Die Daaglikse werker columnist showed him a newspaper account of the violence. Stunned, Robinson read the story in silence. Then he looked up at Mardo with &ldquoanger written all over his face&rdquo and said, &ldquoPaul Robeson should have the right to sing, speak, or do anything he wants to do. &hellip They say here in America you&rsquore allowed to be whatever you want.&rdquo If Robeson wanted &ldquoto believe in Communism, that&rsquos his right.&rdquo

Listening to him defend Robeson, Mardo came to respect Robinson. While most Americans viewed them as representatives of rival ideologies, they shared much in common as prominent men embattled in the black freedom struggle. &ldquoJackie Robinson put his hand in Paul Robeson&rsquos, and together they fought the same fight,&rdquo Mardo wrote. &ldquoEach in his own voice, sure. But it was the same fight.&rdquo


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