Wednesday, April 13

The unsanitized story of Jackie Robinson

"... Yet even that is a concoction. At best, it is a fantasy discouraging the deeper, more painful excavation of the barriers he couldn't break and why, the ones society did not lower but strengthened because of the threat of his presence. At worst, it is a simplistic and corrosive lie designed to keep America from itself, to keep it from what it is, which is a nation far more comfortable with always being the good guy, always preferring the fairy tale to the truth. The real Robinson, whole and unsanitized, was constantly human, competitive, flawed and pained, honorably naïve but always in determined opposition to the obstacles that prevented him from fulfilling a quest still unrealized some 44 years after his death: full partnership in the American dream for African-Americans. The real Robinson lives beautifully and heroically, inside a confectionary lie that his sainthood was something given by a redeemed America rather than taken from a resistant one. ..."
LA Times: Ken Burns' 'Jackie Robinson' documentary is a lump-in-the-throat trip that goes beyond baseball
NY Times: ‘Jackie Robinson,’ on PBS, Covers More Than Race and Baseball
Mother Jones: Ken Burns on His New Jackie Robinson Documentary: "It's About Black Lives Matter" (Video)
PBS: Jackie Robinson (Video)

2009 September: Jackie Robinson