You may find my title confusing. Not long ago I wrote my 100th edition of my blog. I have a birthday coming, but 42 is a distant memory. What I’m talking about is the new movie “42.” The movie is about Jackie Robinson, the first Afro-American baseball player to sign with a major league baseball team.
Jackie Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919 and was raised by his mother after his father left the family when Jackie was only six months old. Chadwick Boseman, a relatively unknown 31 year old actor, played Robinson in the movie titled “42.” Boseman is and athlete originally from South Carolina. He looks astonishingly similar to the young baseball hero he portrayed so artfully, and was clearly the lead character in this expertly produced film. Harrison Ford also excelled as Branch Rickey, Brooklyn Dodgers executive. According to the dialogue, Rickey saw that black Americans would clearly be infiltrating major league baseball and took the chance of signing the first negro in a bold move to win games and to boost the attendance of black Americans bringing in dollars. His character defended the choice by saying that money was neither black nor white, but all green.
This movie is touching from beginning to endt. It’s a love story. Players and most other Americans have long been avid baseball fans. We’ve all heard the adage that indicates an activity as “American as Mom, Baseball and Apple Pie.” The movie speaks to America’s love affair with baseball. The film also portrays the love between Robinson and his wife, Rachel. More than an extended anecdote about these two loves, the story is one of racism in America and the part it played in nearly barring Robinson from his chance to play the sport that was so natural for him. It’s a look at Executive Rickey’s religious dedication and his belief that it played a part in the development of this hero who overcame brutal jeering in order to make his mark on the history of the American pastime.
This is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. It takes a hard look at the racism that seems so completely senseless. Sadly….no, tragically, racism is still a part of our country’s makeup. It’s unnecessary for me to provide examples of racism that still exists all around us. It is well beyond me to explain how racism can still thrive in a country that should have moved beyond such narrow views
This movie is extremely well done. One need not know a thing about baseball. In fact, I shouldn’t think it is necessary to even like baseball. It’s a film that is funny, sad, touching and true. It’s a must see movie. Above all it provides an exceptional history lesson.