Johnny Smith (Julius C. “Bud” Shaw Professor of Sports History, School of History and Sociology, Georgia Institute of Technology)
April 28, 2020
In 1962, Martin Luther King, Jr., reflected on the importance of Jackie Robinson, writing, “He was a pilgrim that walked in the lonesome byways toward the high road of Freedom. He was a sit-inner before sit-ins, a freedom rider before freedom rides.” King believed that when Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier fifteen years earlier, the Brooklyn Dodgers star helped pave the way for the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. In this webinar we will examine Robinson’s role in the civil rights movement, as an athlete and as an activist. We will also discuss how history teachers can use Robinson’s life to explore the intersections of race, sport, and politics in American history.