The United States v. Jackie Robinson
by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen (Author) and R. Gregory Christie(Illustrator)
Booktalk: Jackie Robinson broke boundaries as the first African American player in Major League Baseball. But long before Jackie changed the world in a Dodger uniform, he did it in an army uniform.
As a soldier during World War II, Jackie experienced segregation every day–separate places for black soldiers to sit, to eat, and to live. When the army outlawed segregation on military posts and buses, things were supposed to change.
So when Jackie was ordered by a white bus driver to move to the back of a military bus, he refused. Instead of defending Jackie’s rights, the military police took him to trial. But Jackie would stand up for what was right, even when it was difficult to do.
Snippet: On August 2, 1944, the case of The United States v. 2nd Lieutenant Jack R. Robinson began. The prosecution witnesses described a defiant soldier who ignored a direct order and was disrespectful to a senior officer.
Jack had no choice but to listen while people lied about him. But when he took the stand, he told the truth with dignity. He described how the bus driver had ordered him to the back of the bus. How soldiers ranked beneath him treated him like a criminal instead of an officer. He testified that the MP captain never gave him any orders. That he hadn’t done anything wrong.
Then Jack waited for the real story to come out.
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