Baseball, Jack Roosevelt Robinson, Sharon Robinson discussed on Ed Randall


Good with quiet dignity and steadfast conviction. He accomplished a feat that would have a lasting impact on sports and society. He was born in Georgia schooled in Los Angeles. But emancipated in Brooklyn. Baseball became the true national pastime with Jack Roosevelt Robinson. I said foot on a major league field. It remains baseball's proudest and most powerful moment to one man freedom ride as he crossed the foul line in the so-called, noble experiment. He became a beacon of hope in our country in what was to become a monumental moment for baseball in civil rights. He could not fail. Thank god. He did not fail. His legacy has transcended baseball because what he did transcended baseball. He was a catalyst who altered the public who alerted the public to the whole notion of inclusion Jackie Robinson made us better. And for that. We are forever. Grateful on the centennial of her father's birth. His daughter again honors this audience this morning with her appearance. We are so honored to welcome back to the show. Sharon robinson. Thank you for being with me. Good morning. Beautiful introduction. Well, you deserve it. Then God knows your parents to how how is our favorite mom. Rachel now Ninety-six on her birth certificate. Incredible. As always. Quite a force. And and just so blessed every day to have her with my goodness. And you were recently in Los Angeles on the occasion of the on the occasion of baseball taking time out for everybody to wear number forty two. It was an extra special night. We had forty two Jackie Robinson scholars and we had our president of the foundation. They're demonstrating on and more importantly, we had mom and my brother in from Africa. So he couldn't have been more any more special than that. You were just with the dodgers. Of course, the home office. You were just in Florida working on your new book to be published in September. Tell us about that. Yeah. Author and this book is a memoir, I've called child of the dream a memoir of nineteen sixty three so special to me because it's a chance for me to talk to kids about turning their pain. You know, thinking about thinking as a teenager. But more importantly thinking about who I am and about race. So this is the first time I've actually written about it about race, or, you know, my own experience with and my family's experienced with the civil rights movement for children. So I'm very excited about this book, and it'll be out in September September yet, the scholastic publication, and we're getting a lot of buzz and fish. Doing the the audio book. And that's quite an experience at you know, three days in the studio reading your own material trying to edit as you're reading. You realize too late. Sharon, it's those words are now. Put that in there. But what an experience to grow up as a child of Jackie Robinson and have Martin Luther King in your home and the greatest jazz artists of the time in your home. That's not. Yeah. That's when you know Eddie ninety sixty three my dad, really set for our mission in our family legacy. He came back from Birmingham, Alabama, and we've been asking to go with marches and he came back. He's thoughtful about it. And he my mom talk talked about it. And he came back. And he said, you know, you know, hope you find work that you love, and, you know, remain committed to family in God. But we have we are going to have a family mission. And that an in from this point on. It's not just gonna be me out there raising money for the civil rights movement. We're going to do this as a family. So we had our first jazz concert on our lawn in nineteen in June of ninety sixty three. To raise money bail money for those who have been marching in Birmingham. And we hope Dr king with come to that. But he wasn't able to. And then we went as a family to the March on Washington where my dad actually help was one of the greeters with Dr king before the March began and then nine days later, we had a jazz concert at our home second jazz concert, and and Dr king came himself. So it was you know, actually handed him the money in my David, and I sold sodas and hot dogs, and, you know, organize our our friends, you know, to do that and and data and Ella. Fitzgerald was air and Dizzy Gillespie quite a concert was mazing day. We welcome your phone calls for Sharon Robinson. What a what a moment would honored his to have around the show at eight seven. Seven three three seven sixty six sixty six or so many in our audience who revere your father who may have been fortunate enough to actually see him raise hell on the base pats also one of your one of your other programs, which means so much to you is the breaking barriers program had never league baseball in. Its twist second year you've raised more than thirty nine million dollars. There may be seminar audience this morning, Sharon who aren't familiar with it? Please tell us about your work. Yeah. And in nineteen ninety seven it was a fiftieth anniversary. And at the time. I was in this midwife and author and I get drawn into baseball on different kind of way going going around throwing out first pitches in so I post them and and anyway, ended up with I been working with the Commissioner's office since that point and developed a program called breaking barriers in sports in life with scholastic and major league baseball, and the concept is teaching kids. That obstacles are barriers are part of life. And the we have to have strategies to deal with them. And we give them values that I saw the ads success on and off the field as those strategies, and then ultimately the kids tell their own story. So what we're doing right now is we're we're visiting some of the top winners in this essay confirmational essay contest that have written new who have written about barriers or obstacles they've had to overcome in their lives. And they in their essay, they connect themselves to the values and to Jackie Robinson. It's really been very powerful work. We will honor at the all star game in Cleveland. In july. We will honor a little girl a young lady from New York who is a Muslim girl who has was bullied because she wears a hijab, and we visited her and her school in queens, and she was sell it. It's a school where kids come from, you know, all over the world, and they are they just congratulated this girl 'cause she represented them. You know, kids immigrant children, and is it was such an emotional wonderful day for us, and then we also traveled to Tennessee, and we will honor a girl in from Tennessee who wrote about having eating having an eating eating disorder. But in in one paragraph, she describes going to communion and literally evaluating. How many calories are in the host? Yes, my goodness. You know, and it brought home how delicate this disorder is. And what a what a struggle it is. But this young woman is now in ninth grade, and she'll be honored at the World Series. So she really powerful author, and I mean writer he's got he's got to bring this out, and she's working on it as a book because she's got a lot of beautiful imagery. That's just brings just brings it home. What what she's been through? That's one eight family in a small town in Tennessee where everybody knows everybody. And so they came out from all corners to congratulate you on it's wonderful. Sharon Robertson's with us. We're taking your phone calls for her on the toll free eight seven seven three three seven sixty six sixty six also one other development, which I thought was fantastic when dodger town. Opened in Vero beach in nineteen forty eight after your father's rookie season. The players the players shared living quarters, no matter, no matter the color of their skin. And then the dodgers opened a golf course on the premises in nineteen fifty four because the courses around Vero beach in in the state of Florida were segregated the club leaves to train in Arizona in two thousand and eight but thanks to the former owner of the dodgers, Peter O'Malley and major league baseball. They have announced the renaming that complex the Jackie Robinson training complex. That's perfect. We are so excited about that development at an mom and dad came down for the announcement. And you know, it's going to be an opportunity for kids who play baseball and softball boys and girls from all over the country will come to this facility. So it's not real also serve the local. Baseball you've baseball programs, but they but many of baseball's signature you programs will now have a home right there, really handing the RBI champion. They're going to hold the invitationals in youth leagues in boys and girls baseball and girls and girls softball, and I'm gonna say Ed because you know, it's an hour and a half drive from my house. Some like I'm all in. They'll take up residence. There will be involved. But let let's move the clock back. Imagine being a kid on the same fields that Jackie Robinson. Yeah. Absolutely. I it's, you know, it's I remember when I first started working with baseball and my first trip to euro beach. You know, now, I'm no longer a kid visiting Vero beach or even bringing my son back when he was three years old for or a dodger doddery vent, but now to come back as an employee baseball and to go down the hallway and say, oh my God. Is he photos of data and peewee? And you know, all the all the guys Joe Joe black, you know, visited there, you know. So it's so meaningful, and they named the name the streets after those guys they did that was so fun. What what's your earliest recognition? Can you? Remember, what age you were? When you first begin to realize that this was no ordinary father. Yeah. You know, you you had a sense of it. You know, we had a very, you know, a good private life family life. My parents were always good about that. So whenever we would step out in public. And you have a sense of how important your dad was. But you thought I thought it was just a baseball player. I didn't understand the backstory. I didn't know about their, you know, the years before I was born, you know, I didn't know about the racist based or I didn't really understood understand even wanna color barrier was so it wasn't until I was like eight or nine years old and a day camp. And we saw the Jackie Robinson story. And my dad it was made in nineteen fifty. And the only thing I knew about that movie. Was that I you know, was after I was born and dad went back out to LA to film, and and mom, and I came when I was a month old we traveled to the I'm traveled to LA and went to the set. So I grew up hearing ruby Dee say, yes, I held you in my arms when you were a month old, and we were filming filming the movie, but anyways, soon out of see it at eight or nine and for the first time, I'm beginning to sense that those early years were painful, I didn't for my dad, and my mom, and I didn't know how to. Process it. So that was the beginning of my awareness. But I it took years to really understand it in your mom, of course, was under the same constraints as your father. Well, mom. Yes. Mom, was it was different. You know? 'cause she in in in you could magin you're you're watching your husband out there. In and you have to you dealing with what's going on in the fans around you. But also you're watching him out there. So I think that their experiences where you make each one of them, and h and very powerful, you know, my father was on the field and experiencing and have having to perform my mother's in the stand watching it hearing it around her, you know, and praying that he's able to perform as well as it. You know, he, you know, trying to give him the additional strength. So that he can make it through those early years. They were it allowed them to form a partnership in a bond that lasted a lifetime. And you know, I don't my mother. He they don't see it as you know, they want to be seen it ain't kind of ways as martyrs. But really as tides. Can happen when you work together. Right. But Brooklyn was the perfect place. Sharon for this incredible American story to unfold. I think so I think you're right edge. You know, in all over people from Brooklyn, you know, they have such powerful stories to tell us that it, you you get the sense of how much it was Brooklyn's identity and how proud they were that they were the ones, you know, giving with given entrusted with this major change in America. And how many dodger fancy created around the country through the travels of of his of his of his life is a baseball player. Yeah. It's so true. I you know, I I can't go. We we can't go anywhere. You know, there are still people left at remember seeing him play and all they passed on the best to their children. And it's. It's really quite a following. I took a speaking earlier about Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox who in a recent illustrated story made a comment comparing himself to Jackie Robinson. And I thought to myself how dare you even bring up that man's name. Well, I know I know that he means..

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