How will you speak out?
Jackie Robinson used his platform to speak out about unfair treatment and practices across the country. He gave speeches, wrote letters, and joined in marches to bring attention to injustices. Here’s your chance to make your voice heard about issues that are important to you.
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Jackie believed in first class citizenship for all. That meant equal access to basic things in life, such as a good education, a good paying job, safe housing and the voting poll. During Jackie’s life, these opportunities were not available to everyone, especially African Americans. Jackie used his fame as a professional athlete to fight for civil rights for all Americans. He wrote letters to everyone, from baseball fans to United States’ presidents, encouraging them to be fair in their treatment of others. He wrote newspaper articles in the NY Post and New York Amsterdam News, that were read nationally, in which he shared his opinion on many topics. He wrote several books: an autobiography, a Little League handbook, and a group of stories he heard from other new African American baseball players. No matter what he wrote, it focused on supporting people who were disadvantaged, mistreated or not given opportunities to which they had the rights to.
Listen to Jackie Robinson: American Hero. Chapters 8 and 9 are especially helpful when thinking about what made Jackie a powerful voice for equality and civil rights. While you listen, use our warm up activity in the Got Game? section as a guide.
Jackie believed deeply in the power of young people, like you, standing up for a cause and getting involved to make the world a better place. Now it’s your chance to be heard—create a poster, button or write something impactful—a song or poem. These are all positive ways to share how you are feeling about something going on in the world today that you would like to see changed.