The Georgia Historical Society with support from BG Group and the City of Savannah, will kickoff the 2010 Lecture Series and Georgia Days festivities with a lecture by National Public Radio’s Scott Simon, author of Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball, at the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at 6:00 p.m. The presentation is free and open to the public and will be followed by a book sale and signing.
In this family friendly public event, awardwinning journalist and author Scott Simon (NPR’s Weekend Edition) will discuss his critically acclaimed book, Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball. The program will highlight the legacy of Jackie Robinson, baseball legend, civil rights pioneer, Georgia native, and 2010 Georgia Days Honoree. Highlighting the challenges and ultimate triumph of Robinson’s 1947 Major League debut, this program will set the stage for the entire series of Georgia Days events designed to educate students of all ages about the life and unique contributions of one of America’s true heroes.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson (1919 – 1972) was born to tenant farmers living near Cairo, Georgia (Grady County). Jackie Robinson not only earned acclaim through athletic accomplishments, but he also became a cultural icon responsible for breaking down color barriers in America’s favorite pastime. Beyond his .311 career batting average and numerous accolades earned throughout his baseball career, Robinson was a savvy businessman and active in the civil rights movement.
He was a vocal supporter of Martin Luther King, Jr., and he traveled extensively to raise support for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). At King’s request, Robinson went to Albany, Georgia, to speak after two black churches were burned there in August 1962 and he headed a national campaign to raise money to rebuild the Albany churches and a burned church in Lee County, Georgia.
Robinson is clearly a national figure whose story was shaped beyond his modest Georgia roots, yet he remains a local hero in the hearts of many Georgians. Robinson will be featured throughout the 2010 Georgia Days events. off the Wiley Turning Points series in September of 2002 and was the Barnes & Noble “Sports Book of the Year.”