Jackie Robinson, Baseball, and the Struggle for EqualityBaseball has always been known as America’s pastime. But America‘s pastime, along with America’s past, have both been saturated with the brutal force of racism.
For hundreds of years, from the time of slavery until the middle of the 20th century, African-American children rounded up their friends and headed to the baseball diamond. There, for thousands of young black players, the smell of the grass, the cloud of dust that formed when running the ninety feet between bases, and the feeling of safely sliding into homeplate for a run marked the glimmer of fun and excitement in an otherwise dreary day. However, due to the color of their skin, black children were not awarded these luxuries. For aspiring black ballplayers, a baseball field with bats and actual baseballs would be a dream come true.
Instead they were forced to play with rocks and sticks in an alley or run-down sandlot. But this would never stop them, the thrill and joy of baseball was too great. When playing, it seemed as if all their worries and fears floated away and only one thing mattered. .
. baseball. Baseball was their escape, their livelihood, and the topic of all their hopes and dreams. For young black ballplayers, baseball was much more than a game.
The word aspiring must also be clarified. See, for black players, one undeniable truth was always present. No matter how good you were, no matter how many homeruns or stolen bases you had, how hard you hit the ball or how fast you threw the ball, no matter if you had the ability to play with the best of the best, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Mickey Mantle, there was one thing you never had. . . the right skin color.
The word aspiring did not exist in the black language. For over two hundred years black people were forced to deal with this truth, the truth that smashed the dreams of hundreds of thousands of aspiring black ballplayers, the truth that left them with the horrible feeling of inferiority. This feeling was felt until April 15, 1947, until the man who would change all this stepped up to bat, marking the first time an African-American played in the major leagues. # Jackie Robinson was the man, and as far as the African-American race is concerned, Jackie Robinson is the man. The day has lived in history as the first day of the beginning of a new truth. That, with hard work and a heart the size of a watermelon, black people could aspire to be more.
Jackie Robinson is responsible for the truth of hope, a truth more powerful than any other. With this new hope, Jackie Robinson and the African-American race marked the beginning of the struggle for the ultimate holy grail. . .
equality. Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born on January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. The grandson of a slave and son of a sharecropper, “Jackie,” as he become known, struggled from the very beginning. He was the youngest of five children in a poor family. After his father abandoned him at the age of one, his mother was forced to work many jobs just to support the family.
# Jackie was very outspoken from the beginning. As a young child confronted with the everyday racist taunts from nearby white children, Jackie lashed back and always stood up for himself, sometimes to the tune of beatings from the children. But Jackie didn’t care. Even despite advice from his elementary teacher, who said he was “destined to be a gardener,”# Jackie always fought the infinite number of tactics to keep him and his race inferior.
Jackie believed that God had plans for him, plans beyond the scope of the normal Negro of the times. As he grew older, his fighting spirit continued to follow him along. In 1942, more than a decade before the famous Rosa Parks struggle, Jackie was confronted with a similar situation. Told by an officer to leave his seat on the white section of the bus and move to the back, the black section of the bus, Jackie refused. The scene soon escalated, but Jackie stood firm and refused to budge.
The act of defiance .