How did you feel the first time you did something? Maybe you started at a new school and you were scared. Maybe you joined a new team and you wanted to do well. In 1947, Jackie Robinson joined a new team and changed baseball forever.
Baseball used to be divided into two leagues. One league was for white players. The other league was for African American players. Many people thought this was unfair. African American sportswriters and civil rights groups asked white teams to hire African American players.
Jackie Robinson played baseball on an African American team. The Brooklyn Dodgers asked him to join their all-white baseball team. He became the first African American athlete to play on a major league team.
Sometimes it was hard for Jackie. Not all players wanted him to play. Many fans yelled mean things when he played. Some people even made threats to hurt Jackie and is family. Jackie was brave. He didn’t respond to insults or threats. He didn’t quit. He continued to play baseball.
African Americans watched Jackie Robinson play baseball with pride. His courage helped inspire them to fight for equal treatment in their daily lives.
What Do You Think? How can you be brave when things are difficult?
Photo Credit: Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images