4.15.2010

The Best Day In Baseball History


This is an updated version of a post from last year.


Sixty-three years ago today, on April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson integrated Major League Baseball.

Robinson’s 10-year career had an unquestioned and inestimable impact on the Civil Rights movement in the United States. In the words of Princeton professor and civil rights activist Cornel West:
“More even than either Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, or Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights movement, Jackie Robinson graphically symbolized and personified the challenge to the vicious legacy and ideology of White supremacy in American history.”
The skill and grace with which he played and the way he handled himself on and off the field forced many Americans to face difficult questions about race for the first time, and ultimately resulted in the changing of the hearts and minds of millions.

Jackie Robinson made baseball, in fact, what it had always claimed to be—the national pastime.

4 comments:

Jared Dockery 4/16/10, 7:02 AM  

Did you make that graphic?!

Luke 4/16/10, 7:58 AM  

Jared,

Ha, I wish, but no—that’s a cool painting that I found.

Ed 4/19/10, 8:22 AM  

I heard a person contend that by having this day is racism; I think it was Kevin Blackman. I am sure you know of him; I will see if I can find the link.

Luke 4/20/10, 4:03 PM  

I hadn’t heard this specific claim, but it’s hardly surprising—some people have the “gift” of seeing racism in everything.

And I guess it is “racist” in the sense that the celebration of Jackie Robinson stems from his race—I mean, we don’t celebrate Robinson because he was a brilliant ballplayer; we celebrate him because he was a brilliant black ballplayer who, through his brilliance, brought down an instance of institutionalized racism.

I’d be interested to see the link though; I can’t imagine how this argument could hold much water.

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