History Club engages with film, ‘42’
By Robin Morales
The LCC History Club viewed and discussed the film “42,” which dramatizes the life and baseball career of Jackie Robinson, during a movie-night event Feb. 25 in the Arts and Sciences Building.
Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, the radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Lansing Lugnuts, spoke after the film about the history of baseball’s segregated Negro Leagues.
He added contextual depth to an understanding of how Jackie Robinson broke major league’s color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
“Even after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, it wasn’t really broken,” Goldberg-Strassler said. “There was harassment; there was still a lot that had to go on.”
Though he was a star infielder for 10 seasons, Robinson was not exempt from persecution or intimidation. His resilience and perseverance in the sports world highlights a specific facet of African-American history, according to LCC History Club President Lydia Warnke.
“(The film) reminds people of what life was like back then, like how segregated America was,” Warnke said. “It wasn’t finished in the Civil War. It was a long-fought battle that continues even today.”
Robinson helped the Dodgers win the World Series in 1955. He was the first Black baseball player inducted into the Hall of Fame, in 1962. His number, 42, is the only number retired league-wide by Major League Baseball.
“Within our society, I think it’s always a good reminder to look back at those historic figures,” said Ryan De Guia-Claypool, a history club member. “Whether they were political, (in) sports, or society; people that made a big impact within our history.
“I think Jackie Robinson is a great figure in African-American history,” De Guia-Claypool added. “Individuals in our society can look up to those figures and say, ‘I can dream of that one day in my life’ because it was made possible.”