Before Brooklyn: The Unsung Heroes Who Helped Break Baseball’s Color Barrier
Tuesday, March 8 @ 7:00 pm
When Jack Roosevelt Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, he made history by breaking Major League Baseball’s longtime ban on Black players. His uniform number (42) is the only one permanently retired by all of Major League Baseball’s thirty teams. What’s less well-known— and largely lost to history—is that a small army of men, women, and institutions of many types fought for many long and bitter years prior to Robinson’s triumphant debut in Brooklyn. This hidden story includes former stars of the legendary Negro Leagues, the Black press and Pullman porters. These and more unsung heroes were true pioneers, battling the color barrier for sixty years before Brooklyn, while making a path possible for Jackie Robinson. It was a battle largely in the shadows. But like Rosa Parks on a Montgomery bus, or John Lewis on a bridge in Selma, it was a battle of dignity and defiance in a hard-won war for justice. And this is their story.
About Ted Reinstein
Since 1995, Ted Reinstein has been a reporter for WCVB-TV’s “Chronicle.” He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and the author of three previous books about New England including New England Notebook: One Reporter, Six States, Uncommon Stories; Wicked Pissed: New England’s Most Famous Feuds and New England’s General Stores: Exploring an American Classic.
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This event is brought to you by the Randall Library Friends Association and the Friends of the Maynard Library.