Monday, May 20, 2013

Very Interesting: What the New Jackie Robinson Movie 42 Left Out
Stealing home, Ebbets Field 1948.


Purposely, I am sure.


The new film 42 tells the story of baseball great Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman), Brooklyn Dodgers co-owner Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), and the breaking of the color barrier in America’s favorite pastime. It’s a good movie. Unfortunately, according to historian Jonathan Bean, a research fellow at the Independent Institute, it neglects key aspects of its protagonists’ motives and aspirations—namely, their religious and political commitments.

Robinson and Rickey were both devoted Methodists and GOP members who held that “capitalism, not government, held the key to equal opportunity,” Bean writes in USA Today. Their ideals played a crucial role in motivating them to persevere: there was not yet a civil rights movement for them to lean on for moral support. In fact, Robinson’s and Rickey’s achievements were the first home runs that inspired others to join the team crusading on behalf of individualism and against racial segregation.

“Remember,” Bean continues, “the year was 1947: the year before President Harry Truman ordered the military desegregated; seven years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision; eight years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., public transit bus; 10 years before President Dwight Eisenhower utilized the 101st Airborne to enable the Little Rock Nine to attend Central High School; 16 years before Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his memorable I Have A Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington; and nearly two decades before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were adopted.”

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