Impact on African American Equality
Jackie Robinson was more than an athletic hero for African Americans, he was also a Civil Rights hero. As one of the leading voices for African Americans during his time, Jackie spoke tirelessly against racial segregation in America. He wrote letters to President Eisenhower, President Kennedy, President Johnson, and President Nixon aggressively arguing that they weren't taking the necessary actions to stop racism in America. He also testified on discrimination before the House Un-American Activities Committee in July of 1942. His hard-hitting approach didn't stop at just governmental affairs. Jackie also called out the Yankees as a racist organization in 1952 because they didn't have an African American on their team five years after he broke the racial barrier. After his career in baseball was finished Jackie continued to pursue his goal of bringing equality for African Americans by attending and speaking at civil rights events. His work, not only on the field, but off of it led to his number, 42, being retired by every Major League Baseball organization. His number can no longer be worn by any player in the MLB. In addition, April 15th is known as Jackie Robinson Day in the MLB. On this day, Robinson is honored as every player wears his number 42 on their jersey.