Jackie Robinson Essay Example


There were many African Americans in the United States who have influenced the 20th century. A well known former baseball player named Jackie Robinson was one of these influences. Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919 and had been a part of a family with five kids including him. His mother was a sharecropper who took care of Jackie and his siblings until he went to college. At a young age, he excelled in many sports, he attended UCLA where he played and performed well in baseball, basketball, football and track.

He was an amazing and talented athlete that would go on to be in the Hall of fame for his incredible baseball skills. Even before he rose to fame, he advocated for civil rights in America. Baseball gave him a stage to voice his concerns and protest for equality for all. Jackie Robinson was an influence during the 20th century by using baseball to encourage other African Americans to play, creating opportunities for others, and protesting for civil rights. 

Robinson broke the color barrier for black people in baseball. He started his professional career with the Negro leagues as a second baseman. His skill and potential were seen by the Dodgers, a famous MLB team. He was recruited by the Dodgers and played for their farm team named the Montreal Royals in 1946. In 1947, Jackie became the first African American to be on a professional baseball team after he was promoted to the Dodgers, he became the first African American to play on a Major League Baseball team.

He changed the course of sports and how people viewed them. Up until this point, the majority of Major League teams were white people being the coaches and players. Some of these people were not very accepting of this change, a major barrier due to the prejudice many of the MLB players had shown him because of his color of his skin. Robinson’s family was also only his mom and five kids, he had been from a single parent household and was able to have a professional sports career which inspired low income families. Jackie was able to use his passions and was able to use sports and represent black people and give them a voice in sports.

How Jackie Impacted America

Jackie has impacted America by using his status to help Americans. Robinson was not only interested in sports, he was a prominent businessman at the time. He used his earnings to invest in businesses he believed would benefit his fellow Americans. In 1964, Robinson was a part of the founding of “The Freedom National Bank” and he invested money towards the bank. “The Freedom National Bank was created to help black business owners in securing their earnings safely. Even though it was shut down in 1990 due to a recession. During its run it provided many African Americans with a reliable bank. By the time the bank closed in New York, it was the largest bank owned and ran by black people.

As a businessman himself, Jackie understood the importance of security and having a trustworthy bank. Before he started working to work on professional baseball, Robinson joined the army after dropping out of UCLA due to him not being able to pay for college. Jackie worked his way up the ranks to Second Lieutenant of a segregated unit in Fort Hood, Texas. Jackie was able to serve his country and protect his home while supporting other Americans that were also in the army. Television at the time of the 1960s was not very diverse.

Majority of the popular programs that were shown starred white people as the main character or hosts. Jackie became the first black sports TV analyst, he broadcasted for ABC's Major League Baseball Game of the Week telecasts in 1965. Robinson later worked as a part-time commentator for the Montreal Expos in 1972. Jackie had pioneered many “firsts” for the African Americans in America. By being a part of the predominantly white jobs made it to where black people after him could be more comfortable in their positions with Americans being comfortable with other races in their work life.

Equal Rights

Jackie Robinson had encouraged equal rights for all Americans. In the 1900s, racism was a common thing. Robinson soon began to bring light to these kinds of issues after he was confronted by a white bus driver on a bus while sitting next to a light-skinned woman. He was court-martialed and received an honorable discharge from the army. Robinson started to make his voice heard by supporting and protesting at peaceful marches. He started to address the police after he felt the police were unlawfully holding an African American friend of his. He stood up for what he believed in setting an example for people to stand up for equality.

By facing injustice and confronting such an issue he was one of the many contributions to “Civil Rights Act of 1964”. He knew that due to him being a well known and respected figure in his community and African Americans at the time would suggest that he wanted to make a difference. Jackie Robinson supported the NAACP and black students. Jackie understood the importance of education for Americans and wanted others to live the successful lives they want to live. Jackie was a big influence for integration and desegregation of America during the 20th century.

It is evident that throughout his life, Jackie Robinson not only believed in personal improvement, but in the improvement of America. He knew that he was fortunate enough to be a professional baseball player and used this opportunity to empower other African Americans. Jackie was a pioneer for integration during the 20th century. At a time in America where your color was more than your character, he was there to empower those who would get past this boundary, whether or not he impacted them directly or indirectly. Since the beginning of his career, Jackie had been a supporter of civil rights.

By attending marches and speeches, civil rights supporters knew they had big names in their corner to help advocate. Jackie had been a big example for many up and coming athletes in the 20th century, by being on a professional baseball team Robinson made way for these new African American athletes to feel wanted in the realm of sports. There is no doubt Jackie Robinson had a big influence on the 20th century.

 

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