Jackie Robinson once said, A life is not important except in the impact it had on other lives (Jackie Robinson, 4). That quote has a lot of meaning to it. An impact is the effect or impression of one thing on another. The life he lived made an impact on peoples lives when he was living and after he died. An impact can be sometimes good sometimes bad. Martin Luther King Jrs impact was a good in the eyes of some people and bad in the eyes of others.
Sometimes you have a bad impact like Adolf Hitler. Jackie Robinson made an impact on other lives by breaking the color barrier for baseball, helping with the civil rights movement and helping out in different charities. Jackie Roosevelt Robinson was born on January 30, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia to Jerry and Mallie (McGriff) Robinson (Grolier Encyclopedia, 1). He didnt really have any memories about his father (Encyclopedia Britannic, 1). Jackie Robinson had a sister and three brothers (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1). When he was eighteen months old his mother and his uncle moved them to Pasadena, California where he was raised (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1). When he was growing up he had to help his mother and his siblings by helping to support the family. Mrs. Robinson worked at odd domestic jobs. Jackie delivered newspapers, collected junk, sold hot dogs at sporting events and whatever other odd jobs he could find to help support the family (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1). When he had free time he would try to follow in his brother Macks footsteps, who once set a world record for sprinting and placed second in track to Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympic games (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1).
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Jackie Robinson saw a lot of discrimination when he was growing up, but he managed to do well in sports. He received twenty-four letters as an athlete, he was the only person to ever be selected to play in the College All-Star game in both football and basketball, and he was a lieutenant for the army (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1). Jackie Robinson also was the founder of the first black owned bank in New York City (Jackie Robinson, 9). Martin Luther King and Harriet Tubman all had an impact on Jackie Robinson. Martin Luther Kings I Have a Dream speech had a deep meaning to Jackie Robinson. Lastly if Harriet Tubman would not have helped to free the slaves he would not have even made an impact on anyone. All of this would lead to his success in life. Jackie Robinson, through the hard times, managed to still make an impact on others lives by breaking the color barrier for baseball. He was not the first black player in major league baseball nor was he the first star athlete who was African American (Jackie Robinson, 8). It was at the age of twenty-six that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1).
Joe Black once said All of us had to wait for Jackie(Jackie Robinson, 2). That is actually true. More blacks started entering the league after that. Willie Mays once said Without Jackie I wouldnt have gotten out of Birmingham (Jackie Robinson, 2). Which actually goes along with the quote by Joe Black. Hank Aaron really summed it all up when he said, Jackie passed a torch on to every black player (Jackie Robinson, 3). Jackie Robinson was the first African American player to win a batting title, lead the league in stolen bases, play in an All-Star game, play in the World Series, win a Most Valuable Player award and gain election to the Hall of Fame (Jackie Robinson, 8). Jackie said Im not concerned with you liking of disliking me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being (Jackie Robinson, 4). But Jackie had more impacts just than the color barrier for baseball. Even though everyone focused on just his breaking of the color barrier he managed to make an impact another way, through helping out in the civil rights movements. Enos Slaughters lunge at Jackie Robinson, spikes first into second base causing a seven-inch gash because he allegedly hated blacks and Robinson receiving threatening notes to kill him are some influences to help in civil rights movements (Jackie Robinson, 8).
Some others are striking against playing with or against him on the field and picketing at a hotel by the Ku Klux Klan in Atlanta (Jackie Robinson, 13). He started helping out with the Civil Rights movement after he retired from baseball in 1956 (Jackie Robinson, 9). He helped with the Texas Civil Rights Project (Jackie Robinson, 1). Through this he helped raise money to pay the legal fees of Texans whose civil rights have been violated (Jackie Robinson, 1). Jackie Robinson dedicated his life to improving African Americans status in society (Jackie Robinson, 9). Jackie also says that he has been influenced by an earnest desire to contribute to the advancement and recognition of the Negro race (Encyclopedia Britannica, 3). He even had prominent leaders like Martin Luther King Jrs and Jesse Jackson look to him for guidance (Jackie Robinson, 9). Jackie Robinson set the path for Rosa Parks by refusing to vacate a seat in the front of an army bus in 1944. He was acquitted and Honorably Discharged (Jackie Robinson, 9). Some famous quotes that come from him dealing with Civil Rights are I do not think that I or any other Negro, as and American citizen, should have to ask for anything that is rightfully his. We are demanding that we just be given the things that are rightfully ours and we are not looking for anything else, and Theres not an American in this country free until every one of us is free. (Jackie Robinson, 4).
After retirement he also became active with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He was one of the organizations main speakers at fund-raisers and rallies. He received a NAACP's Spingarn Medal for meritorious service to black America. He even raised 1 million dollars for the Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense (Jackie Robinson: A life Remembered, 97). He often played close attention to politics. One of his quotes says I guess youd call me an independent, since Ive never identified myself with one party or another in politics. I always decide my vote by taking as careful a look as I can at the actual candidates and issues themselves, no matter what the party label (Jackie Robinson, 5). In 1963 Jackie Robinson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Birmingham, Alabama where Sheriff Bull Connor was using physical intimidation to harass blacks. Robinson and Dr. King spoke at church meetings and other protest gatherings in Birmingham. Jackie Robinson was determined to get Blacks their freedom any way possible. Jackie Robinson made another impact on others by helping out with charities and the homeless.
Jackie Robinson worked with the Habitat for Humanity to build homes for underprivileged residents of Austin, Texas. He would also volunteer at fairs and clothing giveaways to help the less fortunate children sponsored by El Buen Samaritano mission in Austin(Jackie Robinson 1). He even painted numbers on the streets for the elderly people so their houses could be more easily identified by Meals on Wheels personnel delivering food. Last Jackie Robinson even volunteered at Caritas Food Bank in Austin to help distribute canned goods to the needy (Jackie Robinson, 1). His daughter, Sharon Robinson, followed in her fathers footsteps by helping with charities also. Jackie Robinson also took time out to coach basketball. He started coaching right 1 year before he joined the minor leagues. June Harden Brewer said about Jackie I was always impressed with his warmth and friendliness... (Jackie Robinson, 12). Mr. Brewer also said Thank heaven for a person who had the integrity, forethought, interest, and intelligence that Jackie Robinson had (Jackie Robinson, 14). He also set up and worked with drug prevention programs (Comptons Encyclopedia, 1). Jackie was an overall generous person.
Through the hard times Jackie Robinson managed to still make an impact on the mid 20th century and beyond by breaking the color barrier for baseball, volunteering to help the needy, and helping out with Civil Rights Movements. Athletes in many sports, notably Arthur Ashe and Kareem Abdul-Jabar, have cited Robinsons influence on their careers and in their lives. Many current athletes wear his uniform number, 42, as a tribute (Jackie Robinson, 9). No one will ever forget Jackie Robinsons famous words A life is not important except in the impact it has on others lives.