Sunday, April 15, 2007

Number 42

Sixty years ago today Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Boston Reds. He was the first African American to play in a major league game. I don't know if enough young people understand what baseball meant to America in 1947. Baseball was more than a game in 1947. In many ways it was the symbol of America. It took a hell of a man to be willing to make the mental sacrifice necessary to break that color line. Try going to work everyday and suffer abuse knowing that for the good of an entire race of people you can't retaliate and let's see how long you last. For the laws and structure of the country at the time and the significance placed on baseball by white America, Jackie Robinson playing that game 60 years ago has to be one of the top three moments in African American history. If you don't know anything about the man or this story, please go find a book and read. The one I read when I was ten was only 30 pages long so you don’t need much time to read about it. It might help put things in perspective the next time your supervisor asks you to stay an hour late and you want to go to his office and keep it real.

1 comment:

Another Conflict Theorist said...

Thanks for this piece. It was good to see so many players, including Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter, recognize Robinson's accomplishments by wearing his 42.

BTW, where ya at?

A nine day layoff constitutes an eternity for you.