Jackie was the first black man to play professional baseball, and his nonviolent actions and his values helped open the door for many to follow.
Courage, determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment, and excellence. Jackie Robinson’s nine values, values he lived by, values that made him not only a champion, but also a hero to millions of people.
What do these values mean? Let Jackie, his daughter Sharon, and many others show you how these values have kept them on the path, the high road to every kind of success.
What is courage? Courage is a small, slight black girl walking alone through a crowd screaming for her death, discovering that the soldiers she’d been told would protect her, were protecting the white students of Little Rock High School instead. She was all alone, yet she prevailed and eventually succeeded.
What is determination? Determination is Christopher Reeve’s daily struggle against depression and despair, as he lives out his life as a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, unable to hug his wife or family. Giving in to misery would ruin their lives, not just his own, and so he daily looks for the joy in his life and those of his family and friends.
What is teamwork? PeeWee Reese showed the world what teamwork was one day in Boston. It was 1947, and Jackie Robinson was the first black baseball player. PeeWee was a man who believed in courage, not just physical courage, but moral courage, the courage to do the right thing. That day in Boston the racial heckling started as soon as the Dodgers took the field. “What’s your daddy gonna say when he hears you’ve taken up with a black boy?” Jackie did nothing. PeeWee did nothing. The shouts and taunts continued. Finally, PeeWee walked over to Jackie on the field, put his arm over his shoulder, and talked quietly to him. Watching them, the Boston players grew silent. PeeWee had responded to their slurs and taunts in the most moral and honorable way. His actions spoke far louder than mere words could have. “Jackie and I are teammates, and we’ve come to play ball, and to beat the living daylight out of you. If you want to yell silly things at us while we play, fine. It’ll just make it easier to beat you.” Teamwork. Teammates. The heckling stopped.
Jackie’s values helped him and others keep their lives on track during a time of anger, hatred and separation, and helped heal the wounds caused by them. Discover what these values can mean to you, and how they can help you overcome the problems that you face, and move into success.
This Booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart