Posted by: Ron DuBour | February 25, 2014

American Heroes~JACKIE ROBINSON (1919-1972)~by rldubour


American Heroes, today, Wed, Thur and Friday of this week. Our poetry corner will celebrate in poetry black American Heroes. Today is:

 

JACKIE ROBINSON (1919-1972)

 

Jack Roosevelt Robinson
Born January, thirty-one.
Is recognized in history
For his achievements he had done.

Jackie had four siblings
He was born in Cairo, Georgia.
In nineteen-twenty all packed up
Family moved to California.

A new home in Pasadena
Only black family on the block.
The prejudice they encountered
For the Robinson’s was a shock.

In California father left
Mother Mallie Robinson was alone.
Through this she raised her five children
Her love for them was always shown.

When he graduated high school
Attended John Muir Junior College.
Next City College of Pasadena
He excelled in sports and knowledge.

Then attended UCLA
He lettered in four major sports.
The very first in their history
For such achievements of this sort.

After leaving UCLA
The U.S. Army he enlisted.
In the 761st Tank Battalion
Officer School he was accepted.

While training at Fort Hood, Texas
Commissioned a second lieutenant.
While boarding on a public bus
He felt he should not be in accordant.

From UCLA he met Rachel Issum
In forty-six they were wed.
They had three children of their own
To play pro ball was in his head.

The first African American
To play Major League Baseball.
A triumph over adversity
He hangs in Baseball’s famous hall.

In fifty-seven he left baseball
Now a V.P. for Chock Full O’ Nuts.
Served on the board of NAACP
For Civil Rights he fought with guts.

He wished to be a manager
In seventy-four it had begun.
First the Cleveland Indians
Then San Fran and Washington.

The United State Congress
The year was two-thousand-and-three.
The Congressional Gold Medal was
Awarded posthumously.

AUTHOR NOTES*

Born in Cairo, Georgia, he moved with his mother, Mallie Robinson, and siblings Willie Mae, Mack, Frank and Edgar to Pasadena, California in 1920, after his father deserted the family.
At the University of California, Los Angeles, he was a star player of football, basketball, track and baseball; the first athlete in UCLA history to letter in four different sports.
While training in the Army at Fort Hood, Texas, Robinson refused to go to the back of a public bus. He was court-martialed for insubordination and, therefore, never made it to Europe with his unit. He later received an honorable discharge in 1944, after being acquitted of all charges at the court-martial. Jackie played baseball in 1944 for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro American League, where he was noticed by Clyde Sukeforth, a scout working for Branch Rickey, although David Halberstam, in October 1964, asserts that legendary super-scout Tom Greenwade actually discovered and secretly followed Robinson for a month on the road. Branch Rickey was the club president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  In 1946, Robinson was assigned to play for the Dodgers’ minor league affiliate in Montreal, the Montreal Royals. Although that season was very tiring emotionally for Robinson, it was also a success in a city that treated him well and without the racial tension present in many North American cities of the times. Robinson’s debut at first base with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, in which he batted 0 for 3, was one of the most closely watched events in baseball history, and a profound moment in the history of the U.S. civil rights movement. Although he played his entire rookie year at first base, Robinson spent most of his career as a second baseman. He also played many games at third base and in the outfield.  He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility, becoming the first African-American so honored.

On October 29, 2003, the United States Congress posthumously awarded Robinson the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award the Congress can bestow. Robinson’s widow accepted the award in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on March 2, 2005. 


Responses

  1. Heard a song about him…during Ken Burns’ P.B.S. film, BASEBALL! 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

    HEY…JACKIE…HIT THAT BALL!!!! (AND HE DID!)


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