Chris Lamb: Jackie Robinson -- Crossing the LineRoundup: Talking About History
Chris Lamb, a professor of communication at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, is the author of the forthcoming book, "Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Long Campaign to Desegregate Baseball." Email: email@example.com
On Feb. 28, 1946, Jackie Robinson and his wife, Rachel, boarded an American Airlines flight in Los Angeles bound for Daytona Beach, Fla., for spring training. There he would try to prove that he was good enough to join the Montreal Royals, the top minor league team in the Brooklyn Dodgers' organization, and integrate professional baseball.
It would be more than a year before Robinson played his first game with Brooklyn, on April 15, 1947, breaking Major League Baseball's color line and forever changing baseball and society.
The story of the integration of baseball was perhaps the most important story involving racial equality in the years immediately following World War II. "Back in the days when integration wasn't fashionable," the Rev.Martin Luther King Jr. said of Robinson, "he underwent the trauma and humiliation and the loneliness which comes with being a pilgrim walking the lonesome byways toward the high road of freedom."
Never before — or since — had so much been riding on an athlete in surroundings so hostile as the Deep South in 1946, where racial discrimination was legal and brutally enforced, and where blacks who challenged it were jailed, beaten or lynched....
comments powered by Disqus
- Donald Trump Is Wrong on Mosul Attack, Military Experts Say
- Emmett Till memorial sign is riddled with bullet holes and has been repeatedly vandalized
- Posthumous pardons law may see Oscar Wilde exonerated
- Has an Election Ever Been Rigged in U.S. History?
- A short history of white people rigging elections
- Steven Runciman — historian, tease and professional enigma — is the subject of a biography
- Historian Eric Foner: Trump is Logical Conclusion of What the GOP Has Been Doing for Decades
- Ken Burns developing 'The Gene' based on Mukherjee's bestseller
- Does the 'Father' of the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing Narrative Really Want to Recant His Words?
- Max Boot wants to know “what the hell happened to my Republican Party?"