April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Jackie, Rachel and Jackie, Jr. (1949)

SOURCE: Pinterest, 'OURStory: Heroes and Sheroes'


Producer SoulVisionTV.com said...

On April 15, 2013, Major League Baseball honored Jackie Robinson for his contributions to the growth and development of the League. The story is well known how Mr. Robinson become the first African-American player to integrate America’s “favorite pastime”.

What is ironic is that African-Americans have pretty much abandoned baseball for entertainment or recreation. According to an article by Tyler Kepner in the New Your Times, African-Americans make up about 8.5 percent of the players playing in Major League Baseball. According to Kepner, the percentage was about 19 percent during mid-70s.

The reasons for this rejection of baseball by young African-Americans are many and can be debated, but it is ironic that for all Mr. Robinson went through, African-Americans simply no longer embrace the sport. It is though African-Americans came into the League, became superstars (Willie Mays), broke legendary records (Hank Aaron), then said that’s enough. Let’s move on to something else. What I believe actually happened is that the integration of MLB ushered in opportunities in other sports, and African-Americans gravitated to those new opportunities.

The whole situation seems ambiguous to me. We have to appreciate what Mr. Robinson did, yet are African-Americans somehow obligated to continue to embrace the game he integrated? On the other hand, should we simply appreciate the fact that had it not been for Mr. Robinson, other opportunities for African-Americans, inside or outside of sports, may have taken a much longer time to manifest themselves?

The young players of today cannot really understand what it was like for Mr. Robinson to endure all that he did, but on some level, they all have to appreciate it. We all have to appreciate it.


Unknown said...

I wonder if the success of the Jackie Robinson West little league team from Chicago will result in renewed interest by Black youth in the sport?