Jackie Robinson: Overcoming Adversity
Jackie Robinson, the first African-American in Baseball, transformed the face of American sports forever. Not only was he an
outstanding athlete, but with the help of Branch Ricky, owner of Brooklyn Dodgers, they worked for reforms in the sports community. April 15,
1947 is the day that one of the most important events in American history took place. On that day, Jackie Robinson took the final step in
making the biggest breakthrough in sports history, it was the day that Jackie Robinson played his first Major League Baseball game, which
was also the first game of any kind in organized athletics in which a white man shared the field with an African-American.
Jackie Robinson was born on January 31,1919 in Cairo, Georgia, in the heart of the segregated south, the grandson of a slave and the
son of a sharecop farmer. Robinson's father abandoned the family when Jackie was an infant, and forced his mother and four older siblings
to join the "great migration" of the time, and move to California(Tygiel,1).
Upon graduating high school, Jackie went to UCLA, where he
maintained a straght A average, while playing 4 sports(baseball, basketball, football, and track) and earning a good amount of varsity letters.
With the outbreak of World War II, Jackie was drafted and assigned to Fort Riley, Kansas where he faced racial discrimination on a daily
basis. In The Jackie Robinson Reader by Jules Tygiel he states that "He was barred from Officer's Candidate School, blocked from playing
on the camp baseball team, and restricted to segregated facilities. Robinson, however, applied both his aggresiveness and celebrity to
demand better treatment. He rose to the rank of lieutenant and waged a campaign to improve conditions for black soliers at Fort Riley. After
his transfer to Fort Hood...