Black History Month Spotlight: Jackie Robinson


By Stephen Blackadar


In honor of Black History Month, Glasgow students celebrate people who have impacted the world in which we live. Spotlight #12 is Jackie Robinson.

Jackie Robinson, the first person of color to play in major league baseball in America, was born in 1919. He was born in Georgia and raised in California. While in college, he became a well-seasoned athlete in track and field, football, basketball, and baseball. He joined the U.S. Army in 1942. In 1944, charges were filed against Robinson when he refused to sit at the back of a military bus. The charges were eventually dismissed, and Robinson left the military with an honorable discharge; but this incident emboldened Robinson, encouraging him to fight for civil rights.

In 1947, Robinson became the first person of color to join major league baseball in America, starting with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He became an immediate success in baseball, becoming the Rookie of the Year in 1947, and the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1949. Though some Americans, fans, and even teammates discriminated against him, Robinson kept pushing through the racism. After 10 years of playing major league baseball, Robinson retired from baseball in 1957. He devoted the remaining 15 years of his life to civil rights, becoming a spokesperson for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1962. That same year, he was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He died in 1972, at the age of 53. 

Jackie Robinson’s legacy can still be felt to this day. He was a great example of standing up for what is right and for breaking barriers. He was, and still is, a critical part of the civil rights movement, because he kept going, no matter how hard things got. He is an inspiration for all, no matter your background, and he will always be remembered, in baseball and in the civil rights movement.

Sometimes, when we are in a difficult situation, or find ourselves facing discrimination, we may feel discouraged and unmotivated to keep going. But one important thing that Jackie Robinson did in his life was he never gave up, whether it was in the military, in sports, or in his activities in the community. So, when we are having trouble with school, sports, or other such activities, we can remember the impact that Jackie Robinson had on the world by never giving up. And who knows: by not giving up,  you may end up empowering another Glasgow student to do the same! When students empower students, the impact can go far beyond Glasgow. So never underestimate your influence on others as a Glasgow Panther!


Want more information? Click on the videos below.



Encyclopedia Britannica – Jackie Robinson 

National Baseball Hall of Fame – Jackie Robinson

Encyclopedia Britannica – Jackie Robinson Photo