The United States v. Jackie Robinson

by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and R. Gregory Christie

As a child dealing with racism, Jackie Robinson learned from his mother “to... read more

As a child dealing with racism, Jackie Robinson learned from his mother “to stand up for what was right, even when that was difficult to do.” He carried that lesson through his years as a college athlete and into his World War II military career, where racial segregation was a regular practice. After a 1944 army order prohibited segregation on military posts and buses, Jackie chose a seat in the middle of an army bus, ignoring the driver’s angry demands that he move to the back. Military police sided with the driver, and Jackie was charged with two crimes. At his court martial, Jackie’s description of his actions was confirmed by witnesses, and several commanding officers testified in his favor; eventually a verdict of “not guilty” was delivered. While many readers know of Jackie Robinson’s groundbreaking career integrating professional baseball, this less familiar earlier episode exemplifies the courage and commitment to fighting racism he demonstrated throughout his life. (Ages 5–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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