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Jackie and Mack Robinson Bronze Memorial Heads
Him and his wife, Rachel Robinson, were both actively involved in civil rights movements throughout his career, proving he was legendary as an athlete and as an activist. "Robinson stood up for equal rights even before he did so in baseball. He was arrested and court-martialed during training in the Army for refusing to move to the back of a segregated bus. He was eventually acquitted of the charges and received an honorable discharge" (baseballhall.org). His involvement in civil rights movements helped to break the segregation exhibited by sports teams. In January of 1957, Jackie decided to retire. After retirement, Jackie helped establish the first African-American owned and controlled Freedom Bank.
Mack Robinson, Jackie's older brother, was a silver medalist in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Mack wasn't particularly viewed as athlete material, and while living in Pasadena, California, he couldn't find his way to the New York trials before the games. A Pasadena businessman paid his way, and another athlete, to New York. Although becoming second place at the Olympics is something to be extremely proud of, Mack felt some sorrow in his inability to receive the training the other athletes did. "In 1937, he set a national junior-college record of 25 feet 5 1/2 inches in the long jump (later broken by his brother Jackie) and he won national collegiate and Amateur Athletic Union track titles at the University of Oregon in 1938" (Litsky, 2000). Mack never received praise for his accomplishment, and Jackie later broke his brother’s long jump record, and may have had his sights set on his own Olympic glory before the 1940 games were cancelled because of World War II. (Andrews, 2014)
The Robinson brothers were pioneer athletes of the 20th century. Through hard times of racial segregation, the Robinson's displayed power through their competitiveness and involvement in their communities. The Memorial of the brothers, located in Pasadena, pays tribute to them as bronze head statues. There is also meaning behind the direction to which the heads face: Jackie looks towards Brooklyn, NY, to symbolize the destiny waiting for him 2,800 miles to the east, while Mack faces towards City Hall, reflecting his complicated relationship with his home town (Atlas Obscura, 2012).
SourcesJackie Robinson. Biography.com. August 14, 2017. Accessed September 21, 2017. https://www.biography.com/people/jackie-robinson-9460813.
Litsky, Frank. Mack Robinson, 85, Second to Owens in Berlin. NY Times. March 14, 2000. Accessed September 21, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/14/sports/mack-robinson-85-second-to-owens-in-berlin.html?mcubz=1.
Ugc. “Jackie and Mack Robinson Memorial.” Atlas Obscura, Atlas Obscura, 19 Aug. 2012, www.atlasobscura.com/places/jackie-and-mack-robinson-memorial.
Andrews, Evan. 11 things you may not know about Jackie Robinson. History.com. January 31, 2014. Accessed October 02, 2017. http://www.history.com/news/11-things-you-may-not-know-about-jackie-robinson.
Pasadena, CA 91101
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