A talk with author and WCVB-TV Boston Chronicle reporter Ted Reinstein.
When Jack Roosevelt Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, he made history by breaking Major League Baseball’s longtime ban on Black players. His uniform number (42) is the only one permanently retired by all of Major League Baseball’s thirty teams.
What’s less well-known -- and largely lost to history -- is that a small army of men, women and institutions of many types fought for many long and bitter years prior to Robinson’s triumphant debut in Brooklyn. From Negro League stars to courageous journalists, Pullman Porters to fabled all-Black World War II units, unsung heroes and pioneers battled the color barrier for sixty years before Brooklyn. It was a battle of dignity and defiance in a hard-won war for justice.
Ted Reinstein has been a reporter for "Chronicle," WCVB-TV/Boston’s award-winning nightly news magazine. In addition, he has been a contributor for the station’s political roundtable show and sits on WCVB’s editorial board. He is the author of “New England Notebook” (2013) and “Wicked Pissed” (2016). The book “Before Brooklyn:The Unsung Heroes Who Helped Break Baseball's Color Barrier” will be available to purchase after the talk.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Rogers Free Library.