November 25, 2013
Historical Figures: Conquering Segregation and Racism
“Anything is possible if you put your mind to it” said Marty Mcfly from blockbuster hit Back to the Future. If people gave up every time they believed something was impossible, then the world would be a very different place. Progress would never be made, and our society would never develope. Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. Racism and segregation was once this idea of a perfect world and seen as a good thing. Our world has come a long way, because of historical figures who conquered the word impossible. Racism and segregation would be a major issue, but black historical figures took a stand against it unintentionally. A law and idea that was permanently encoded in the minds of society seemed impossible to change. Jackie Robinson, Ernie Davis, and Rosa Parks opposed segregation and racism by triumphing over what was once impossible.
Jackie Robinson broke down the segregation barrier that bordered sports. Athletes of color were not allowed to compete in major league sports. Colored men who wanted to play baseball were sent to Negro Leagues and never given a chance to compete in Major League Baseball. Athletes in the Negro Leagues were considered not good enough to play in Major League Baseball and never given a chance too. Although Jackie Robinson proved that thought wrong when he stepped out on that diamond field. Jackie Robinson became the first african americans to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947. As the first major league team to play a black man the Dodgers ended racial segregation. The example of Robinson's character and unquestionable talent challenged the traditional basis of segregation, which then marked many other aspects of American life, and contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement. Jackie Robinson did not seek out to give an outlet for all black athletes to come or contribute to the Civil Rights Movement. Jackie Robinson just wanted to prove that he was the best baseball player in the world. Robinson had an altruistic motive in sportsmanship and competitiveness. Aside from changing the world of sports for black men, Jackie Robinson had an exceptional baseball career. Over ten seasons, Robinson played in six World Series and contributed to the Dodgers 1955 World Series Championship. The MLB also created a day called Jackie Robinson Day where every player wears the number 42 on their jersey. Jackie Robinson opened up opportunity for black men to compete in sports. It was impossible for a colored man to compete in a white man game and overcome the hate from crowds and opponents. Jackie Robinson endured all the pain and just played the game he loved to overcome the impossible. Jackie Robinson never gave up on being the best baseball player regardless on all the obstacles, and the end result speaks for itself.
Jackie Robinson opened the gate for young athletes in not only baseball but other sports too. Football was always considered a white man sport and was like a religion for white fans. Ernie Davis was a young high school player who thought his football career was over after he graduated. An offer from Syracuse changed Ernie Davis’s life, for now he was starting running back. Ernie Davis aspired to be the best running back he could, and his parents were proud that a college education came with it. Syracuse only had 3 black students attending and all of them played for the football team. At away games , Ernie Davis discovered racism at its worst. The colored players on Syracuse were not given the same luxuries as the white players. Ernie Davis was forced to sleep in dirty hotel rooms, use disgusting restrooms, and sleep on cold floors. Everyday white opposing fans would send death threats and...
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