Jackie Robinson Breaks Color Barrier
Today in Black History – Jackie Robinson Breaks Color Barrier
1894 – Blues singer Bessie Smith was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Smith, known as the “Empress of the Blues,” sold more than 800,000 copies of her first hit song, “Downhearted Blues,” a staggering number at that time. A great star of the vaudeville circuit, Bessie was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
1947 – First baseman Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League baseball, suiting up for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The barrier had been in place as a “Gentleman’s Agreement” for more than 50 years.
Robinson was a phenomenal athlete lettering in four sports at UCLA. He played in the Negro Leagues for the Kansas City Monarchs alongside Hall of Famers Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige, but instead of fanfare and hoopla, he was greeting in the Major Leagues with derision and hostility.
Robinson was unable to stay in hotels and eat in the same restaurants as his teammates in many towns and was taunted with racist taunts and jeers on the road by fans and opposing teams. Worse, several of his own southern-born teammates signed a petition, refusing to play alongside him.
Nevertheless, Robinson persevered, playing so well the he won the fans over on his way to being named the inaugural “Rookie of the Year.” Two years later, he led the National League in batting and was named the league’s “Most Valuable Player.” Jackie was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and Died in 1972 at the age of 53.
America’s Story – http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jp/bball/jp_bball_jackie_1.html
Great Black Heroes – https://www.greatblackheroes.com/sports/jackie-robinson/