Read I Never Had It Made: The Autobiograhy of Jackie Robinson by Jackie Robinson Free Online
Book Title: I Never Had It Made: The Autobiograhy of Jackie Robinson|
The author of the book: Jackie Robinson
Edition: Turtleback Books
Date of issue: May 6th 2003
ISBN 13: 9780613648813
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 547 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2178 times
Reader ratings: 3.7
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On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson played in his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers, integrating Major League Baseball and alternating the course of 20th century American history. Seventy years later, Robinson remains a key figure in American history as his actions made him a role model for generations of African Americans. As we are approaching Martin Luther King Day, I decided to read Robinson's autobiography I Never Had it Made, his poignant and candid account of his life in and out of baseball.
Born in 1919, Jackie Robinson was the youngest child of a southern sharecropping family. When Jackie was only six months old, his father deserted the family in search of a better life and never returned. His mother Madella decided to move with her five children to Los Angeles in order to give them a better opportunity in life. Working two jobs and barely making ends meet, Madella was determined that her children rise from poverty and achieve in America. Jackie, easily inspired by his mother's work ethic, enrolled at Pasadena Junior College and then at UCLA. During the years leading up to World War II, African Americans had few opportunities to participate in integrated sporting events. Jackie made the best of his experience, which lead to him being noticed by both the Negro Kansas City Monarchs and the Dodgers after the war.
While at Pasadena, Jackie met Rachel Isum who was to become his partner in life. Rachel stayed by Jackie's side through thick and thin and later became a psychiatric nurse and an assistant professor at Yale Nursing School. During Jackie's baseball career, Rachel raised their children largely on her own as Jackie traveled with the team, incurring as much discrimination outside of baseball that Jackie faced on the field.
As a lifelong baseball fan, I am much familiar with the story of Robinson, Branch Rickey, and the integration of baseball. Reading the account in Robinson's own words was especially poignant and powerful. Knowing the story as well as I do, I was much more interested in Robinson's life after baseball. Fighting diabetes, Robinson still managed to fight for African American rights on a local and national level. He campaigned for various politicians and called them out when they did not do enough for his community to strengthen their life in this country. In addition to his political involvement, Robinson worked on the board of Harlem businesses such as Chock full of nuts coffee and Freedom Bank in an attempt to encourage African Americans to invest in their community, giving them more of a chance to succeed.
Jackie Robinson's success story put him on a first name basis with everyone from Martin Luther King and Malcom X to Presidents Kennedy and Nixon. Yet on occasion this success came at the expense of his family who at times struggled to find their own identity as Jackie Robinson's wife and children. For all of the abuse Robinson faced on and off of the field, he remains a national legend and role model even today. Yet, his words also remain true today- until all African Americans enjoy the same success as Jackie Robinson, he can say that he was a black man in a white man's world, and that he never had it made. A moving account of an extraordinary life, I Never Had it Made easily rates 5 shining stars.
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