Tuesday, April 16, 2013

42: The True Story of An American Legend

Today I went to preview the new Jackie Robinson movie because we want to take our 7th graders to see it. They study the 1940s under the theme of change. They discuss the Negro Baseball Leagues and they raise money for The Negro Baseball League Tomb Marker Project.  So when we saw the trailer for the movie, we knew we wanted them to see it. We also knew time was going to be against us and this movie is rated PG-13.

I was the only person able to go see the movie, so I took my notebook and headed out.

Wow. Yes, I knew the story of Jackie Robinson and yes, I knew they would make it sentimental - it's an inspirational movie. But, I never expected to come out changed.

The movie only covers 2 years in Robinson's life and touches on both his and Branch Rickey's struggles during that time. The movie has some curse words and some racial and ethnic slurs, as to be expected from the time period, and they don't over do it. It's enough where you get the idea and still feel a little uncomfortable, hopefully.  But, there is one scene when Jackie Robinson is up to bat against the Philadelphia Giants and their manager, Ben Chapman, is slinging the N-word and other derogatory terms. It's a turning point for the movie and it's only the tip of the iceberg of what Robinson actually went through.  In the movie, Robinson grabs a bat and then walks off the field after getting out on a popfly for the second time.  He is nearly broken.

I was broken. I thought about all the people who came before me. And I've seen many  movies and read many books on topics like these. Maybe I was just in the right frame of mind. I don't know. But, could I have stood up like Robinson? I'm glad that people like him paved the way for me to do a job I love. I'm thankful. People say, but look how far we've come - we have a black president. Having to point that out shows how far we still need to go. I hope I'm "built to last" and can step up when my turn comes.


  1. How awesome that you were changed by seeing the movie.

    I, too, wanted to take my 7th graders, but due to time constraints we will not get to take them. I will go to see the movie with my husband when we can get a baby free weekend.

    I am so grateful to Jackie Robinson who did not take the easy road, so that I could be treated equally amongst my peers. And I totally agree with you that we have so much further to go. I just hope that even though I am not an athlete, my students will find something inspiring in me that makes a difference in their futures.

    Thank you for your thoughts on the movie. I am even more eager to see it now.

  2. What a great movie to take 7th graders to!


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