Teachers

Teaching With Documents:
Beyond the Playing Field -
Jackie Robinson, Civil Rights Advocate

Jackie Robinson Quotes:

Baseball was just a part of my life. Thank God that I didn't allow a sport or a business or any part of my life to dominate me completely. . . . I felt that I had my time in athletics and that was it.

The right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time.

I don't think that I or any other Negro, as an 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 that we're not looking for anything else.

I guess you'd call me an independent, since I've 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.

Civil rights is not by any means the only issue that concerns me--nor, I think any other Negro. As Americans, we have as much at stake in this country as anyone else. But since effective participation in a democracy is based upon enjoyment of basic freedoms that everyone else takes for granted, we need make no apologies for being especially interested in catching up on civil rights.

I won't 'have it made' until the most underprivileged Negro in Mississippi can live in equal dignity with anyone else in America.

Life is not a spectator sport. . . . If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life.

It is up to us in the north to provide aid and support to those who are actually bearing the brunt of the fight for equality down south. America has its iron curtain too.

Negroes aren't seeking anything which is not good for the nation as well as ourselves. In order for America to be 100 per cent strong--economically, defensively, and morally--we cannot afford the waste of having second-and-third class citizens.

I believe in the goodness of a free society. And I believe that society can remain good only as long as we are willing to fight for it--and to fight against whatever imperfections may exist.

Activity idea: Determine which of the Jackie Robinson documents best reflects the message conveyed in each of the above quotes.


Jackie Robinson Main Page

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