Richard e Hill - a Writer's Journal

What Jackie Meant

What Jackie Meant

“Jackie”, Jack Roosevelt Robinson placed the doorstop into the egresses of social economics to make integration the rule rather than a temporary politicized compromise. There had been Blacks with respect to political correctness, African Americans in organized baseball and other sports as late or early as the turn of the twentieth century. Bigotry, first among a select group of power broker owners and later a megalomaniacal czar-like commissioner, Kennesaw Mountain Landis decreed that “a baseball was white and so shall be its domain“; acting and administrating accordingly.

Jackie’s older brother, “Mack”, Matthew Robinson also a UCLA multi-sports star finished a Silver Medal second to Jesse Owens in the 1936 Berlin Olympics 200 meters event. Chicago matriculated “Fritz”, Frederick Douglass Pollard at the age of 42 garnered a Bronze Medal in the high hurdles in this pseudonym, Hitler Olympics.  Fritz, the first African American participant in the Rose Bowl was a charter member in what is now the National Football League ---- later becoming the first Black owner, coach and quarterback in this organization as well.  Mack, Fritz, Paul Robeson, Duke Slater, Woody Stroud, Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Satchel Paige; et al were sports dark clouds and breezes filtering through color-coded cracks ---- harbingers of the maelstrom Jackie Robinson.

During the times when the only Blacks that had a perpetual imprimatur were “Uncle Remus” and “Little Black Sambo”, Jackie was the paradigm of articulated eloquence; no dialect laced responses, head scratching or shucking and jiving allowed ---- a virtual case study in erudite inspiration where failure is just a skirmish in the war for success.  A scrapbook maintained by my father has a front page where a Saint Louis MO daily newspaper panned Jackie Robinson as “Blackie Robinson”.  I constantly referenced this now tattered page during formative years and adulthood not fully understanding why while experiencing the indignations of racial prejudice until I could and would speak the untold and obscured facts about Black History.

There is more to a man than generations of false perception ---- knowing the heritage of who one was is reflective in who they are.

(Note – The St Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox, the last teams in their leagues to field Black players did not achieve prior glories until Blacks were among their elite players.)



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