Jackie Robinson and the Civil Rights Movement Essay

1229 Words5 Pages
To the average person, in the average American community, Jackie Robinson was just what the sports pages said he was, no more, no less. He was the first Negro to play baseball in the major leagues. Everybody knew that, but to see the real Jackie Robinson, you must de-emphasize him as a ball player and emphasize him as a civil rights leader. That part drops out, that which people forget. From his early army days, until well after his baseball days, Robinson had fought to achieve equality among whites and blacks. "Jackie acted out the philosophy of nonviolence of Martin Luther King Jr., before the future civil rights leader had thought of applying it to the problem of segregation in America"(Weidhorn 93). Robinson was an avid…show more content…
The driver, a local civilian, thought that the woman Jackie was talking to was white…The outraged bus driver ordered Jackie to the back of the bus. Jackie knew his rights on an army base…Jackie would not move. On reaching the last stop, the bus driver quickly brought over several white men and two military policemen…The MP's took Jackie to a captain, who saw in him only an "uppity nigger" trying to make trouble. He filed a series of charges against Jackie"(Weidhorn 28). Robinson did not take this incident passively. He spread word to other black officers, who in turn contacted black newspapers and civil rights groups, who demanded that the charges be dropped. Instead of fighting the Japanese or German enemy, Robinson had to fight the racism and stupidity of his fellow Americans. Robinson was eventually honorably discharged from the Army for medical reasons. Baseball soon became a big part of Robinson's life. Jackie Robinson's entry into the Major Leagues was far from a walk in the park. He climbed over countless obstacles just to play with white men, some of which, he was better then. He not only had to compete with the returning players from the war, but he also contended with racism. "Many towns in the South did not want racially mixed teams"(Weidhorn 53). As time went on, cities realized that Robinson offered them free publicity. "The Dodgers presence also brought extra business to the
Open Document