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April 15, 1947 – The Day Jackie Robinson Came to Bat

Sixty nine years ago today the Brooklyn Dodgers broke the color line at Ebbets Field when Jackie Robinson took the field, playing first base.  The door was opened and it was the beginning of the en…

Source: April 15, 1947 – The Day Jackie Robinson Came to Bat

When I taught, I used a social justice activity. Most of the junior high students knew about Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa, but few had heard about Jackie Robinson. He was important for some students who did not connect until they understood athletes were part of social change.

Jackie Robinson had a Canadian connection. He played his AAA baseball for the Montreal Royals. This point led to talking about Willie O’Ree who broke the colour barrier in hockey. He may not have seemed as impactful Jackie Robinson, but many black NHL players refer to Willie O’Ree as a role model and he remains an ambassador for the game.

Furthermore, it is not enough that those who want to break through a barrier do so alone. For Jackie Robinson and Willie O’Ree, white players gradually (perhaps it was glacial) realized how good these guys were. In Montreal, fans cheered Jackie Robinson because he was a great ball player. Colour seemed overlooked in that environment. I admire Jackie Robinson, Willie O’Ree, Rosa Parks, etc. for their contributions, but community becomes important in sustaining real change and seeing beyond colour, gender, religious, etc.  If we could do that, what a difference it would make in the world.

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

16 responses »

  1. Inspiring post Ivon! I have not heard of Jackie Robinson but he is a wonderful reminder to us all stand in our truth and make a difference in this world. Thankyou 🌒

  2. Many thanks for the re-blog! Regards from Florida.

  3. And so it should make a difference in the world. Really, what a little thing it takes to make someone hate, a little pigmentation or a belief system that differs slightly from their own yet in some cases still honours the same prophets.
    I don’t have a belief system yet don’t hate those who do, see people rather than colour, my son in law is a kind , sweet man and a great father yet I know he and I don’t share the same skin colour. So what. I swear half the population look for reasons to hate others rather than reasons to love and enjoy our differences. How can we ever work together to help save Earth when we can’t even work together to help save ourselves.

  4. Jackie was loved in Brooklyn.

  5. I wish I had thought to do this when I taught. I do remember the stories my dad told about this when I was a child.

    • I did not live the American experience. It was over there, so to speak. When I became an adult, I realized not everyone got to listen live to great Blues singers such as B. B. King, Willie Dixon, and John Lee Hooker. Being Canadian offered me entry that was not always there for Americans.

  6. It is all part of our history – a great victory of sorts that we should remember.

  7. Baseball player Larry Doby was the second African American player in the major leagues and first in the American League when he joined the Cleveland Indians.
    Late 1947 he played in the majors.


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