Jackie Robinson: Baseball Player Civil Rights Advocate



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Jackie Robinson:
Baseball Player
Civil Rights Advocate
“Life is not a spectator sport…If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.”

Introduction

During post WWII America, Jackie Robinson rose to national attention. He became a hero to many. What makes someone a hero? It’s a tough question. Think about the people that you look up to and admire – what makes them so special in your eyes? Is it their talents? Is it their accomplishments? Is it their strengths? Is it something they did or something they said? Jackie Robinson was, and is, a hero to many people for many reasons. He was a fantastic athlete who managed to break the color barrier in major league baseball. Jackie was also a champion for civil rights who spent his life working for the advancement of his peers. But what exactly was it that made this man a hero? In this activity you will try and answer this question by finding out about some of the amazing things that Jackie Robinson did, said and believed.


Directions
After doing some background research on Jackie Robinson, answer the questions below. You may use the print resources in your school library or you can check out the following web sites:
www.jackierobinson.org
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/jrhtml/jr1957.html

Questions





  1. Jackie Robinson was the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of a slave. Where was he born?



  1. Jackie Robinson attended UCLA and was the first student there to ever win varsity letters in four different sports. What four sports were they?



  1. Jackie started out playing baseball for a Negro league team in Kansas City. What was the name of that team?



  1. During his ten seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, how many times did Jackie Robinson steal home base?



  1. In what year was Jackie Robinson inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame?



  1. After retiring from baseball, Jackie went first into the restaurant business and then into banking, and finally, into the construction business. His major goal in all of these endeavors was to improve the lives of Black Americans. What were the names of these three businesses?



  1. Robinson was a member of both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). What prominent Black civil rights leader did he meet and befriend because of his involvement in these organizations?



  1. Jackie Robinson died on October 24, 1972. He wrote his own epitaph – what did it say?



  1. Looking back on all that Jackie Robinson accomplished, why would you say he is considered a hero?



  1. Though everyone else praised Robinson for making it big, Jackie never believed that he had “made it.” Why do you think that is?


Additional Questions





  1. In general, what do you consider to be the traits of a hero?


  1. Write a short paragraph about someone you consider to be a personal hero. Be sure to explain specifically, why, they are someone you look up to and admire.

Jackie Robinson


Answer Key


  1. Jackie Robinson was the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of a slave. Where was he born? Cairo, Georgia




  1. Jackie Robinson attended UCLA and was the first student there to ever win varsity letters in four different sports. What four sports were they? Football, baseball, basketball, and track




  1. Jackie started out playing baseball for a Negro league team in Kansas City. What was the name of that team? Kansas City Monarchs




  1. During his ten seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, how many times did Jackie Robinson steal home base? 19 times




  1. In what year was Jackie Robinson inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

1962 – He was the first black player to receive that honor.


  1. After retiring from baseball, Jackie went first into the restaurant business and then into banking, and finally, into the construction business. His major goal in all of these endeavors was to improve the lives of Black Americans. What were the names of these three businesses? Chock Full ‘O Nuts, Freedom National Bank of Harlem, and the Jackie Robinson Construction Corporation




  1. Robinson was a member of both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). What prominent Black civil rights leader did he meet and befriend because of his involvement in these organizations? Martin Luther King Jr.




  1. Jackie Robinson died on October 24, 1972. He wrote his own epitaph – what did it say?

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”


  1. Looking back, on all that Jackie Robinson accomplished, why would you say he is considered a hero? Each student will answer this differently.




  1. Though everyone else praised Robinson for making it big, Jackie never believed that he had “made it.” Why do you think that is? Robinson believed that he could not “make it” until all other black Americans had the opportunity to make it (succeed) also.





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