Jackie Roosevelt Robinson was born on January 31st, 1919. He made history in 1947 at the age of 28 when he broke the racial barriers of Major League Baseball by debuting with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson’s impact went beyond just being an average player for the Dodgers. He played a crucial role in six World Series teams and was even named National League Rookie of The Year in 1947. In recognition of his achievements, he was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
Contrary to popular belief, Robinson’s advocacy for racial integration did not end with his baseball career. Throughout the Sixties, he continued to champion equality and fight for racial justice.
Jackie incorporates the number of African Americans in the United States to emphasize the collective fight for equality. The significant number, 17 million, highlights that his desire for equality is shared by many. He asserts that his followers will continue to advocate for positive change. Instead of posing questions, Jackie asserts the desires of African Americans and emphasizes the urgency for action now. Furthermore, he alludes to the Constitution and stresses that it is the President’s responsibility to ensure true equality; failure to do so would be a violation of the Constitution. As Jackie’s letter progresses, his tone becomes increasingly bold. In the fourth paragraph, he accuses President Eisenhower of unintentionally suppressing African Americans’ freedom by encouraging forbearance and providing hope to segregationist leaders like Governor Faubus who seek to strip away their rights.