Jackie Robinson broke the color line in Major League Baseball when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. This decision would not only integrate baseball, but would help the country work to achieve equal rights for all. Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., once commented to baseball pitcher Don Newcombe, “Don, you and Jackie will never know how easy you made my job, through what you went through on the baseball field.”
Before becoming famous, Lt. Jack R. Robinson was court-martialed at Camp Hood, Texas, because he refused to move to the back of the bus after being told to do so by a bus driver and disobeying an order from a superior officer. Robinson was acquitted of all charges and received an honorable discharge, but this was not the only experience he would have in fighting discrimination.
After retiring from baseball, Robinson turned much of his attention to civil rights issues. He wrote to several Presidents about the cause, and even attended the March on Washington.
Many of these milestone events from Robinson’s life are documented in primary sources from the National Archives.
Unfortunately – and through no fault of her own – Nyong'o’s Hollywood future may not be as bright as her current stardom suggests.
What the hell are you talking about? While countless media outlets have celebrated her beauty, intelligence, talent and significance for the future of black women in Hollywood, Nyong'o has yet to announce her follow-up project. Rumors and speculation abound, but her next move remains as unclear today as it was a month ago.
According to a recent Hollywood Reporter article, this is no accident. Writer Greg Tilday explains the “challenging lack of roles for darker-skinned actresses” in Hollywood, and how this might impact Nyong'o’s prospects:
“While the stage would appear to be set for her to ascend to the A-list – just as Jennifer Lawrence did after her best actress win for Silver Linings Playbook last year – it’s not that simple,” he writes. “[There’s] never been a black actress who has become the equivalent of a Julia Roberts or Angelina Jolie.”
Fifty years ago on August 28, 1963, a high point in the long pursuit of African American civil rights took place when hundreds of thousands of civil rights supporters came to Washington, DC for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.