*In honor of Black History month, I am going to highlight some of my favorite books. As my pastor says, “Black history is all our history!”
Earlier this winter, I finally saw the movie 42 that chronicles Jackie Robinson and his journey to play Major League Baseball. I am a sports person, a ‘jock’ if you will. Some people argue that the world puts too much emphasis on sport, and to an extent, I understand their argument. However, sports have the ability to transcend so much more than just a winner and a loser. Sports can empower and inspire, they can teach us about ourselves, and they can put into perspective what really matters in life.
The story of Jackie Robinson is one of those stories where, if it weren’t for sport, would such an impact have been made in this country? It makes me sick to see that he was spit at, excluded, threatened and more, just because of the color of his skin. I think about the deception it takes for a grown adult to yell at a person they’ve never met, to their face, and think it’s okay. Just sickening!
The Civil Rights Movement is an amazing part of our nation’s history. Sad, so very sad, but remarkable to think of the courage it took for those to stand against it. These moments in history are so important to teach to our kids. Even though things are ‘better’ today, we are all familiar with that famous quote; “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana).
Teammates by Peter Golenbock is the nonfiction account of the friendship between Jackie Robinson and teammate Pee Wee Reese.
As a teacher, it is a great book for upper elementary kids to not only introduce the content of Civil Rights or highlight biographies, but to teach Cause and Effect.
- Because Jackie was black, people didn’t want him to play baseball.
- Because Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Dodgers, thought segregation was unfair, he wanted to give everyone a fair chance to play baseball.
- Because Pee Wee put his arm around Jackie, the world saw that they were teammates.
I love this story for so many reasons. One, the character of Jackie Robinson is truly heroic. Two,it’s proof that athletes have the power to impact more than just a scoreboard. Three, it takes courage to be a friend!
I am a fan of Teammates. I’m sure you will be too! If you’ve read it, let me know what you think!