Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, and lived his younger years in the only black family on the block. Prejudice and segregation were prevalent throughout his and his family’s life, though it can be said that it only “strengthened their bond” (“Biography”). His family worked in sharecropping but Robinson would grow up to be the first baseball player to break into Major League Baseball, which was incredibly segregated for the past 50 years. In the early 1940s, Robinson attended college but was forced to leave due to financial difficulties. After that, he joined the army where he reached the rank of second lieutenant. Racial discrimination continued during these years of his life, such as when he had to leave the army with an honorable discharge due to his objections over racially-driven incidents.
Robinson’s professional career as a baseball player began with the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro League in 1945. He was later assigned to the Royals after having to agree to “turn the other cheek” to racial abuse and discrimination (“Jackie Robinson”). In 1947, he debuted for the Dodgers and in 1949, he won the National League Most Valuable Player Award. Before retirement, Robinson hit league-wide highs and set multiple national records, including his continued nomination for All-Star every year from 1949 to 1954.
The story of Jackie Robinson is an incredible example of overcoming injustices and succeeding despite massive pressure and opposition. Robinson was an incredible player and advocate for the rights of black people. His success as a player exposed the unfair and wrong assessments of the critics who were more prejudiced than invested in the sport. He was one of the many who helped paved the way for minorities or individuals subjected to discrimination to perform well in white-dominated and segregated environments.
“Biography”. Jackie Robinson, 2021, Web.
“Jackie Robinson”. History, 2017, Web.