42 - Jackie Robinson - Summary


Telegram from Jackie Robinson to President Lyndon Johnson - sent on March 9, 1965 - urging LBJ to take action against police officers who were harming peaceful demonstrators in Selma, Alabama.  Image of telegram online, courtesy U.S. National Archives.


Jackie Robinson was a gifted athlete as a boy, as a young man and as an adult.  His abilities exceeded any one sport.

However ... as an African-American, Jackie was unable to play Major-League Baseball until Branch Rickey decided that the "color line" - preventing people of color from participating - had to be broken.  He picked Jack Robinson to break that line.

After his baseball-playing days were over, Jackie Robinson was a civil-rights leader.  He wrote letters to sitting U.S. Presidents, candidly expressing his opinions and supporting his conclusions.  

As the years passed, Robinson expressed his concern that America was not doing enough - quickly enough - to extend civil rights to people of color.  "Have patience" - urged by government representatives - was no longer a tolerable approach for Robinson.  African-Americans, he said, had been patient-enough.  

In this story behind the film 42:

  • Virtually visit the places of Jack Robinson’s youth (in California) and baseball stardom (in Brooklyn);  
  • "Meet" Branch Rickey, who played a profound role in Robinson’s life;  
  • See pictures of Jackie and his family;
  • Observe how discrimination impacted him (in the Army and in professional sports); and
  • Learn why his lesser-known career as a civil-rights leader has impacted his legacy. 


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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

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"42 - Jackie Robinson" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 26, 2020.
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