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42 Today: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy

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Explores Jackie Robinson’s compelling and complicated legacy

Before the United States Supreme Court ruled against segregation in public schools, and before Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, Jackie Robinson walked onto the diamond on April 15, 1947, as first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, making history as the first African American to integrate Major League Baseball in the twentieth century. Today a national icon, Robinson was a complicated man who navigated an even more complicated world that both celebrated and despised him.

Many are familiar with Robinson as a baseball hero. Few, however, know of the inner turmoil that came with his historic status. Featuring piercing essays from a range of distinguished sportswriters, cultural critics, and scholars, this book explores Robinson’s perspectives and legacies on civil rights, sports, faith, youth, and nonviolence, while providing rare glimpses into the struggles and strength of one of the nation’s most athletically gifted and politically significant citizens. Featuring a foreword by celebrated directors and producers Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and David McMahon, this volume recasts Jackie Robinson’s legacy and establishes how he set a precedent for future civil rights activism, from Black Lives Matter to Colin Kaepernick.

ISBN-13: 9781479805624

Media Type: Hardcover

Publisher: New York University Press

Publication Date: 02-09-2021

Pages: 256

Product Dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Series: Washington Mews Books #9

Michael G. Long (Editor) Michael G. Long is the author and editor of four books on Jackie Robinson—First Class Citizenship: The Civil Rights Letters of Jackie Robinson; Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life after Baseball; and Jackie Robinson: A Spiritual Biography. He is Associate Professor in the Center of Global Understanding and Peacemaking at Elizabethtown College. Ken Burns (Foreword by) Ken Burns is an awardwinning filmmaker and director of Jackie Robinson, in association with Major League Baseball. Sarah Burns (Foreword by) Sarah Burns is the co-producer of the film Jackie Robinson, in association with Major League Baseball. Burns also wrote the text for the documentary. David McMahon (Foreword by) David McMahon is the co-producer of the film Jackie Robinson, in association with Major League Baseball. McMahon also wrote the text for the documentary.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Taking Jackie Robinson Seriously Ken Burns Sarah Burns David Mcmahon xi

Introduction: That Day Michael G. Long 1

Part I Foundations

1 The Owner Howard Bryant 9

2 A Methodist Life Randal Maurice Jelks 15

Part II Baseball

3 Jackie Robinson Ball George Vecsey 29

4 Telling It the Right Way Jonathan Eig 34

5 A Champion of Nonviolence? Mark Kurlansky 42

6 The White Media Missed It Chris Lamb 57

7 On Retiring 42 David naze 71

Part III Civil Rights and Politics

8 Before the World Failed Him Sridhar Pappu 83

9 The Dilemma of the Black Republican Gerald Early 100

10 "I've Got to Be Me": Robinson and the Long Black Freedom Struggle Yohuru Williams 113

Part IV The Wide World of Sports

11 The First Famous Jock for Justice Peter Dreier 131

12 Supporting Black Women Athletes Amira Rose Davis 177

13 The Challenges of a Gay Jackie Robinson Adam Amel Rogers 189

Afterword: The Legacy of Perfection Kevin Merida 201

Acknowledgments 205

Notes 207

About the Contributors 223

Index 229