Could the color of a person’s skin change the world? Could one person bring an end to segregation in the sport of baseball? Jack Roosevelt Robinson known to many as just Jackie Robinson had a dream to play baseball for the big leagues but because of his skin color this was not really an option. Then one day a man named Wendell Smith cam to Robinson and asked him if he had the courage and the strength to take a stand for equality of man kind and the chance to follow his dream and be a major league baseball player? Robinson did agree and that he was the person that could take this challenge and ultimately not only change the world of sports but change the nation as well.
Robinson was able to being a movement to help bring an end to the color barrier in sports, from Robinson’s long time friend and well know newspaper write Wendell Smith’s vision of American society exposed in the Chicago Defender. The “ability, skill, and character are the sole measures of a man and not the color of his skin”(Schraf 8). A person can not be judged by the color of his/her skin. You can only truly judge someone by what they do and how they act. According to Robinson in the book I Never Had it Made, “to Wendell who did so much to break the barrier in baseball and who I have always appreciated as a friend”(Robinson qtd in Schraf 8). Jackie Robinson was truly grateful for Wendell and his help with getting segregation out of baseball but it was his friendship with this person he appreciated more. As the color of the players changed so did the color of those watching the game.
The perspective of how an African-American can change a sport. From the book Jackie Robinson Champion of Equality, The Dodgers fiery hot tempered manager Leo “The Lip” Durocher made sure to gather the team together as soon as he heard about a petition being signed by the players and tell them “I don’t care if the guy is yellow or black or if he has stripes like a zebra, I am the team manager and I say he plays.”(Teitelbaum 55). The hard part was that before Jackie Robinson could be accepted by the world he had to be accepted by his teammates, and given the chance to prove he could play ball. From the article Baseball Great Jackie Robinson Broke the Color Barrier in 1947, “There is no looking back; we’re in, the door has been cracked.” (Pitts 2). I take this quote to mean that we have our foot in the door and that people were starting to accept the African-American players in to the American Past time. Robinson played in the major leagues for 10 full season, yes he made progress with segregation but it was still rough, people in the stands still shouted racial slurs and insults at him so during the 1956 season with the Dodgers Robinson knew it was time to start thinking about life after baseball, how to keep the civil rights moving forward.
Well know since Robinson has his foot in the door with working to end segregation what would be the next step after baseball, Robinson thought it was time to help bring equality to the African-Americans by working with organizations that would be able to help in his efforts to end this injustice. From the book Jackie Robinson Champion of Equality, Jackie Robinson viewed black power “from the standpoint of becoming a producer, a manufacturer, a developer and a creator of business and a provider of jobs. For too long the Negro has been the consumer.” (Teitelbaun 103). This is way Robinson felt that it was time for the Negro’s to stand up and be the boss for a change and not just an employee. With that being said Robinson decided it was time that the African Americans had their own bank and this is what he had to say about why they needed this bank it was not just for Negros to be able to find work but to become excepted by society as he states in the book Jackie Robinson Champion of Equality, “Freedom National Bank is not just another local bank, it is the determination of the Negros to become an intergral…