By: Matt D.
Connecticut, Age 11
In January 1919 on a small farm near Cairo, Georgia, a black hero was born. His name was Jackie Robinson. Jackie had three brothers and one sister. Out of the five children, he was the youngest. When he was little Jackie participated in what most black families did, sharecrop. Sharecropping was when a family was given tools for farming, but had to give half of what was grown to the family whose land they lived on.
When Jackie was only six months old, his father left saying that, he was going to visit his brother in Texas, but he never returned. After his father left, the owner of the farm kicked his family off the farm. With no other place to go, JackieĂs mother went to southern California to live with her brother.
In California, they still did not have a very good life, but it was better than in Georgia. After a while, JackieĂs mother saved up enough money to buy a house. In the neighborhood, Jackie had many fights with the white children. The year that Jackie started school was when he learned how to play most of sports. Whenever he played a sport, even if it was with older kids, he was the fastest. Everyone in his family supported him in his sports. One time his mom even unwound a pair of socks to make a ball of yarn for him to use as a baseball. The kids at his school, black or white always wanted to have Jackie on their team. When not playing with his friends, Jackie would often be thinking of ways to make money for his family. When he was ten during the Great Depression, he had to sell hot dogs at the Rose Bowl so that his family would not become homeless.
When Jackie went to high school, his reputation grew. No matter what sport he played from ping-pong to football, he was always the star of his team. In 1942, Jackie went to Fort Riley and became a lieutenant. A short while later, he was fired because he got into fights as a result of not being treated as fairly as the others.
The turning point in JackieĂs life was when a scout working for the owner of the Dodgers, Branch Rickey accepted him as a Dodger player. When Jackie signed the contract to become the first black major baseball league player, some players actually quit or refused to play against the Dodgers at that Time. What made him recognized was that he made a promise that he never broke, saying that he would never get in a fight with the crowd or ballplayers because of being teased for being black.
When he was in the ball club for a while more and more people started to attend the games. In fact, other teams were letting blacks on to their teams too. While playing baseball he was nominated as the MVP of the year. He led in stolen bases, although he was one of the oldest rookies.
After retiring from baseball, he became a person who helped blacks with their fight for independence. On October 24, 1972, Jackie died at the age of 54. His eulology read, ˘When Jackie took the field; something reminded us of our birthright to be free.÷