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Jackie Robinson: A Biography by Arnold RampersadThe extraordinary life of Jackie Robinson is illuminated as never before in this full-scale biography by Arnold Rampersad, who was chosen by Jacks widow, Rachel, to tell her husbands story, and was given unprecedented access to his private papers. We are brought closer than we have ever been to the great ballplayer, a man of courage and quality who became a pivotal figure in the areas of race and civil rights.
Born in the rural South, the son of a sharecropper, Robinson was reared in southern California. We see him blossom there as a student-athlete as he struggled against poverty and racism to uphold the beliefs instilled in him by his mother--faith in family, education, America, and God.
We follow Robinson through World War II, when, in the first wave of racial integration in the armed forces, he was commissioned as an officer, then court-martialed after refusing to move to the back of a bus. After he plays in the Negro National League, we watch the opening of an all-American drama as, late in 1945, Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers recognized Jack as the right player to break baseballs color barrier--and the game was forever changed.
Jacks never-before-published letters open up his relationship with his family, especially his wife, Rachel, whom he married just as his perilous venture of integrating baseball began. Her memories are a major resource of the narrative as we learn about the severe harassment Robinson endured from teammates and opponents alike; about death threats and exclusion; about joy and remarkable success. We watch his courageous response to abuse, first as a stoic endurer, then as a fighter who epitomized courage and defiance.
We see his growing friendship with white players like Pee Wee Reese and the black teammates who followed in his footsteps, and his embrace by Brooklyns fans. We follow his blazing career: 1947, Rookie of the Year; 1949, Most Valuable Player; six pennants in ten seasons, and 1962, induction into the Hall of Fame.
But sports were merely one aspect of his life. We see his business ventures, his leading role in the community, his early support of Martin Luther King Jr., his commitment to the civil rights movement at a crucial stage in its evolution; his controversial associations with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Humphrey, Goldwater, Nelson Rockefeller, and Malcolm X.
Rampersads magnificent biography leaves us with an indelible image of a principled man who was passionate in his loyalties and opinions: a baseball player who could focus a crowds attention as no one before or since; an activist at the crossroads of his peoples struggle; a dedicated family man whose last years were plagued by illness and tragedy, and who died prematurely at fifty-two. He was a pathfinder, an American hero, and he now has the biography he deserves.
From the Hardcover edition.
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He became a national hero to both black and white Americans because of his skill, bravery and restraint. Transcript of radio broadcast:. Jackie Roosevelt Robinson was the first black man to play in modern major league baseball. After World War Two, many Americans still believed that people of different races should not mix. In some parts of the country, blacks and whites lived in separate areas and went to separate schools.
He played as an infielder and outfielder for the Dodgers from through Jackie Robinson was reared in Pasadena , California. He withdrew from UCLA in his third year to help his mother care for the family. In he entered the U. Robinson led the Brooklyn Dodgers to six league championships and one World Series victory.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia in to a family of sharecroppers. His mother, Mallie Robinson, single-handedly raised Jackie and her four other children. They were the only black family on their block, and the prejudice they encountered only strengthened their bond. Growing up in a large, single-parent family, Jackie excelled early at all sports and learned to make his own way in life. At UCLA, Jackie became the first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track. In , he was named to the All-American football team. Due to financial difficulties, he was forced to leave college and eventually decided to enlist in the U.
In , MLB retired his uniform number 42 across all major league teams; he was the first professional athlete in any sport to be so honored.
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Robinson, Jackie 1919–1972
Robinson became the first black athlete to play Major League Baseball in the 20th century when he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers in Throughout his decade-long career, Robinson distinguished himself as one of the game's most talented and exciting players, recording an impressive. He was also a vocal civil rights activist. The youngest of five children, Robinson was raised in relative poverty by a single mother. He attended John Muir High School in Pasadena, California, and Pasadena Junior College , where he was an excellent athlete and played four sports: football, basketball, track and baseball. He was named the region's Most Valuable Player in baseball in Robinson's older brother, Matthew Robinson, inspired Robinson to pursue his talent and love of athletics.