Showing posts with label civil rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label civil rights. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Jackie Robinson, American

Last night and tonight we watched the Ken Burns documentary about Jackie Robinson.

The movie reminded me not only what a great athlete he was, but what a strong-willed and courageous man. And his wife Rachel was extraordinary.

Born in 1919, son of a sharecropper, grandson of a slave, a man of skill and determination.

Last night's episode showed the baseball season of 1947 when Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and led them to the World Series.

I was ten years old and was learning the finer points of the game.

We lived in Midwest City, Oklahoma, east of Oklahoma City, just across the street from Tinker Air Force base, where my father was stationed. He managed the base fast-pitch softball team, and taught me the finer points of the rules, including how to keep score. I became the team's official scorekeeper.

We went into Oklahoma City a few times to watch the Oklahoma City Indians play in the Texas League. I kept a score card for those games as well, and that summer listened to major league games over the Mutual Broadcasting System. That's how I knew about Jackie Robinson.

We all knew that Jackie Robinson was a negro and that he played for the Dodgers.

The significance of a negro playing in the major leagues went over my head. It was just a fact that I knew.  I didn't know if there were others or if there would be others. I just knew that he was a good player and clearly belonged there.

My fifth grade teacher was a baseball fan. All of the games were played during the day but the teacher brought her radio to class and let us listen to the game.

Since I knew how to keep score, I drew a giant score card on the black board and recorded everything that happened.

I rooted for the Dodgers, but it didn't matter. On Monday, October 6 the Yankees on the seventh and final game at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Jackie Robinson got seven hits, stole two bases and scored three runs in his first World Series.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Julian Bond: 1940-2015

Julian Bond was a smart, articulate, handsome leader of the American Civil Rights movement at a crucial juncture in our history. I was saddened today to learn of his passing. He served his country well.

Not all heroes are military ones.