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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

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

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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