JACKIE ROBINSON: STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE

OUTSPOKEN JACKIE ROBINSON PLAYED THE ROLE OF SYMBOL AS WELL AS HE HIT A BALL

I wish I could really remember the time in 1950 when my dad took me to Ebbetts Field to see Jackie Robinson play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. But I was only three years old, and the day is a blur. No matter, my dad explained to me many years later, he wanted me to be in the presence of history. The hopes and fears of millions of African Americans were inextricably connected with every clutch hit, every stolen base, every acrobatic catch in Robinson's career. Not just Robinson but an entire race was coming to the plate--and he knew it. He...

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