When it comes to literature, I love biographies. They can be biographies around people, cities, world wars, or history. Whatever they are I love biographies. Now I fully understand they have their limitations based on who wrote the biography and that they can have huge swings based on the perspective or the agenda of the author. With that knowledge they are still some of my favorite books to read. It almost feels like my nerdy version of a reality tv show.
Today, I look at the life of Jackie Robinson. Baseball recently celebrated Jackie Robinson day where all players wore the number 42. Outside of Jackie Robinsons day, the #42 is retired across all of baseball. Jackie Robinsons has been inducted into the baseball hall of fame and was a beacon of hope, courage, racial equality, and athletic excellence. In terms of athletic excellence, Jackie Robinson was a collegiate athlete at UCLA that played four sports; baseball, football, basketball, and track. When i was a kid Bo Jackson and Deon Sanders were considered athletics geniuses because they were able to play two sports at a time. Jackie Robinson was an all american level athlete at 4 separate sports.
Obviously the huge impact that Jackie Robinson made was off the field with civil rights movement in America. Unfortunately we still have a long way to go, but key men like Jackie Robinson, leveraged the platform and talents they had to impact the quality of life of others. The book highlights some of the daily threats that Jackie and his family faced. It was interesting that one of Jackie Robinsons teammates came to the general manager when he received one threatening letter and was concerned for his own safety. At that point the General Manager shows Jackie teammate the pile of threatening letters Jackie had received. It was an eye opening moment and strikingly showcased white privilege and the daily inequality that Jackie faced. I encourage you to check out the book. Open your ears, open your eyes, and soften your heart. There is much to learned from the life of Jackie Robinson.