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Yvette Carnell: Why I Won’t be Going to See the Jackie Robinson Movie ’42′

by Yvette Carnell

I am not a person who romanticizes Jim Crow. Separate but equal was never equal, and activists were right to upend that system of jackie robinson 42apartheid. But everything comes at a price and the price Jackie Robinson paid, at the expense of blacks specifically and the liberal movement in general, was too high of a price to pay.

For those who don’t know, Jackie Robinson testified against black activist and artist Paul Robeson before the House Un-American Activities Committee, backed Richard Nixon against John F. Kennedy, backed the Vietnam War, and even questioned the patriotism of Dr. Martin Luther King when he announced his opposition to the war. This is who Jackie Robinson was. For him, it was the white man’s way or no way.

For some, celebrating Jackie Robinson’s integration into baseball boils down to the idea that blacks needed to be liked by even the most racist whites in order to have any real s**t at the American dream. So to them, it was acceptable for Robinson to do whatever it took, even if it meant going so far as to unleash the Congressional hounds on Robeson, as long as it ensured that the doors to white baseball were opened to Robinson.

I don’t buy into the notion that black people must be redeemed in the eyes of whites in order to progress, mostly because it places far too much power in the hands of racist whites and leaves blacks in a tenuous position, both psychologically and economically.

Saddest of all though is the idea that many black folk who went to see ’42′ will not only view Jackie Robinson’s integration as a grand success, without ever bothering to consider the human consequence, but that they will undoubtedly view the movie’s box office success as some sort of win. How is that possible? How is it possible to consider the movie’s box office success a win for anyone except those who benefit from the movie’s revenue? Simple: Since there is no real black movement or black leadership in this country, black people latch onto whatever symbolism they can as a way of giving themselves an emotional victory, even if it’s largely a product of their own imagination.

Right now on my Facebook page some of my black friends are celebrating Jay-Z’s trip to Cuba, as if it has any relevance to their lives. As if Jay-Z isn’t the same man who tried to take advantage of Occupy Wall St., the only group to even attempt to take on income inequality in this country, by selling Occupy themed t-shirts without giving the group a percentage of the revenue. In the minds of many black folk it’s perfectly fine to show indifference to working class values as long as you are a member of the black one percent. You too can be a vulture capitalist because as long as you don’t take any lip from conservatives like Sen. Marco Rubio, blacks will rally around you no matter what….. We’re so confused.

But if we’ve learned only one thing from the Obama Era, it should be how to discern sentiment from concreteness, emotion from passion,  and symbolism from substance. Judging from the success of  ’42′ at box office, we’re just not there yet. We didn’t learn the lesson when Robinson integrated or when Obama was elevated to the highest office in the land without ever addressing the needs of the working poor. In 20 years or so, I’m sure we’ll be afforded another opportunity to either show up or get shut out. The cycle continues.

Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill and campaign staffer turned writer. She is currently an editor and contributor to Yourblackworld. You can reach Yvette via Twitter @YvetteDC or on Facebook.

 

78 Responses to Yvette Carnell: Why I Won’t be Going to See the Jackie Robinson Movie ’42′

  1. m88 Reply

    March 11, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Thank you for providing these details.

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  2. Sandra Rivers Reply

    May 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Recently a popular African American performance artist who is know for her progressive lyrics and presentations revealed that she had NEVER HEARD OF!!!! Emmett Till until she viewed the most recent ‘Emmett Till’ film at a Winter, 2013 Imagenation (NYC) screening of the film. The painful reality of such incredible realities of the UNDER and MIS – education of African American People, along with the Jackie Robinson “#42” issue highlight how critical it is that we redouble our fight for Education for Liberation – that informs our people, especially our younger folk, of our heroes and of those who have had non-heroic, even shameful, periods in their lives.

    One of the travesties of the current usa education MESS is that CRITICAL THINKING and research are denigrated, which leads to singular, tunnel-vision, sound-b**e non-assessments of everything, including African American history and realities. Education for Liberation guides folks to comprehensive, fuller -research and reflection. The corporate-dominated mainstream attempts to promote knee-jerk, emotional, single-focused, sound-b**e reactions. Education for Liberation promotes careful, time-intensive analyses of the typically multi-faceted nature and reality of human beings. Such analyses will not exonerate the debased aspects of too many peoples’ actions, but it will provide fuller assessments – to guide us in shaping Liberation struggles going forward.

    Visit: to learn how to join the National Black Education Agenda’s (NBEA) ongoing work! – for PostSummit–2012 Action Plans – to join our listserv and/or one of our Actions Groups:
    A– Creating a National Black Education Membership Organization
    B– Creating a National Black Parent Union
    C– Creating a National Black Student/Youth Union
    D– Creating Black Parallel School Boards
    E– Building Powerful Education Alliances with Unions, Community Organizations, Sororities & Fraternities
    Email blackeducator@africamail.com to join the NBEA listserv and/or one the NBEA Actions Groups

  3. Mad Professor Reply

    May 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    First of all, this article was really one -sided. Yes, Jackie Robinson testified against Robeson, but do read his (Robinson’s) autobiography “I Never Had It Made.” Jackie later regretted his testimony. As for Dr. King, Jackie was far from alone in criticizing Dr. King on Vietnam. The NAACP in fact condemned Dr. King for his stand in 1967. Should we stop supporting them today because of this too? Robinson and Dr. King in fact settled their differences over a late night telephone call after Robinson’s article, as he would also do with Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X. Did you know that he also corresponded the Little Rock 9 and helped them through their ordeal or that he went to the trenches in Birmingham and his native Ga? Number one, the man was a hero for risking his life so that others would accomplish their dreams. But he had more courage in doing the good that he did to make up for what others may consider his mistakes. If we are going to tell the story, tell the whole story and not just what causes ire among those of certain ideologies. This is part of the problem. Many of us are so bitter and confused with the lack of real movements, leaders, and solutions in the present that in our blindness, some of us go after the wrong targets of our rage.

  4. Centryst Reply

    May 17, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I would just like to say–without yet agreeing or disagreeing with any of the views stated in the original post or some of the comprehensive responses–thanks to everyone for sharing their viewpoints. This will make for good reading and education because I had no idea–NONE– of the backstory behind this story.

    THIS is the story/movie I would pay to see. It sounds like the content of the film ’42′ could be dealt with in a few scenes of the greater more comprehensive Robinson/Robeson/Kenny/Nixon/King saga.

    Just goes to show that assimilation or desegregation should not always be the priority–or even desired at all.

    Similar situations are still underfoot today. Abercrombie & Fitch has a strict documented, unashamed policy of discriminating, at least in their company adverts and general atmosphere, against non-white, “non-attractive” people.

    Difference is, today we have the option and a climate that is not perfect, but is a number of degrees above the blatant discrimination of Mr. Robinson’s era. Just like Negro League athletes could opt to Play and Stay in the Negro Leagues, we must opt to play and stay only with businesses and organizations that respect our business and preferably those are For Us and By Us.

    There’s nothing wrong with preferring your own, but there’s always that danger of nationalistic insular ideology that can c*t you off from the rest of the world and you begin to feed on your own kind.

  5. Chris Reply

    May 11, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    The movie was alright. The thing I didnt like was how one-sided the racism was. Pointing all the blame at white people. Not to say that there were a lot of a*****e racist whites back in the day, but what about the racist blacks towards whites? There’s arrogance on both sides, not just one. If anything, this movie was reinstating the bigotry that blacks have towards whites. Reverse discrimination anyone? I am a young black male and I was ashamed of the other black people in the audience getting riled up over silly over dramatic dialogue regarding racism. Can we ever let the battle of race end? I doubt it. Not with movies like this coming out.

    • cory Reply

      July 24, 2013 at 6:35 am

      Wow!! U r either a white person impersonating a black person or the biggest uncle Tom ever to walk the earth. I would love to debate your asinine statements

  6. Wayne Paris Reply

    May 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Most of you people on this blog has it wrong. The sports world was going to be integrated whether Jackie Robinson played or not. Capitalism is all about money and the sporting world was no different. The money makers in the sports world at the time knew the wind of change were coming and sooner or later the Black ballers were going to be coming through the door. What happened was a controlled experiment to show their White fans that they were in control of the situation hence Jackie Robinson. The Civil Rights movement did the same thing too by picking Rosa Parks over Claudette Colvin.

  7. Vance Fort Reply

    April 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Ms. Carnell is talking to the wrong generation.

    She provides important history that is unknown to many. She also directs worthwhile, critical analysis of Jackie Robinson’s life and politics. I for one was unaware that Robinson was as politically conservative as he was a talented athlete. My specific objections with the article are threefold: Carnell argues against seeing the film because of Robinson’s conservative politics. She ignores the film’s instructional and motivational value. She implies the value of black struggle and achievement in the face of segregation and racism is a function of the achiever’s politics. These are mis-guided views about the history of the fight for black liberation and full citizenship.

    Many young blacks are destined for greatness. They are gifted, and they are encouraged, even pushed, to excel. But they are the exception. For all too many, the American Dream has no meaning. It is critically important to communicate with these young people in the Diaspora. They have given up, they have resigned themselves to minimalist educations and vocations, they have turned to making babies and larceny, and they eschew personal responsibility. We mustn’t give up on them. They must be encouraged to dream big and work hard. And books aside, the best medium for communication is art—music, theater and film.

    In the black community, the overriding criteria for evaluating the value of music, theater and film should be their ability to educate and motivate black youth. America is an empire in decline. Amid this decline, Blacks are expendable–unemployed, largely unemployable, and disproportionately uneducated inadequately financed, and overwhelmingly imprisoned. Although much progress has been made, to too great an extent, in America blacks remain second-class citizens and the victims of discrimination. Many black youth have little knowledge about black’s 300-year struggle for citizenship and equality. Even the Civil Rights Movement of the last century is ancient history to many young blacks. Notwithstanding President Obama’s election and reelection, many young blacks do not believe the sky is their limit. Their aspirations are circumscribed by crime, poverty and low expectations.

    For the young, hip-hop is the art form of choice. It is theirs. They created it; they control it. It is the street vibe and often it carries the street news. Hip-hop, however, is long on the contemporary and short on history. This shortcoming is offset somewhat by hip-hop’s power to penetrate the world of young people. Theater not only teaches, it can and often does bring to life historical moments of import. Messages from the stage can be powerful and can grip an audience. Its limitation is that for the young, the theater is the least accessible and least visited art form. Many young folk do not have the money, transportation or inclination to venture to the theater. Movies, on the other hand are cheap and ubiquitous. Film is less pervasive than hip-hop but movies are a weekend magnet for gatherings and dates. Movies can leave powerful impression on viewers and especially on young minds.

    These mediums can acquaint our youth with contemporary and historical black images that are positive. It should be our priority to do whatever we can to make it possible for young people to see realistic portrayals of struggle in the face of racism. Most of all, our young people need to see what success against all the odds looks and feels like. These things a film can do, and these things 42 did. We should encourage the viewing of 42, not discouraging it.

    Finally, life is a continuum. Those that do not know and understand history are bound to repeat its mistakes. Robinson made mistakes. But Ms. Carnell makes no effort to describe and explain those mistakes to the generations that are ignorant of them. She talks about the betrayal of Paul Robeson without any context as though those under 30 know whom Paul Robeson was. She criticized Robinson support for the Vietnam War as though that is supposed to mean something. Most concerning, however, is Ms. Carnell’s total intolerance for the exercise of free speech and free association–personal and political–by blacks, as if these freedoms are not essential. She seeks to discredit Robinson as a human being by simply labeling him right wing. I do not disagree with her political position, but she expresses her position in a way that is akin to the ugly McCarthyism to which Robeson fell victim. Her’s is no way to persuade young or older people to her radical point of view.

    Vance Fort
    Washington, D.C.

  8. Miya Reply

    April 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I read a lot of comments about what Ms. Carnell had to say and it seems many of you got angry near the beginning of the article and never made it to the end. Clearly most of you ignored the fact that Ms. Carnell said that black people do not get the proceeds of this film. It was a “feel good” story in exchange for money in which afterwards you went back to your life of being inferior. The media is controlled by whites so its fine that you take your children to see a “feel good” story but someday they will be upset with you because you didn’t introduce them to reality. One day they will wake up to adulthood and walk out into a world for their culture shock.So before you call Ms. Carnell a crab in a bucket look at yourselves because he was flawed and although he did what he thought was right, what difference has it made?

  9. Minister 8-Ball Reply

    April 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I would also like to add that the Jackie Robinson move was more about breaking the economic power base of Negro League Baseball. The fan base was 20% white. Whites got tired of waiting for Josh Gibson to come to the Bronx to play against Babe Ruth. So, whites took their money to see Gibson, Satchel Paige and others.

    Plus, Robinson spoke out against Muhammad Ali, stating that he owes it to his country to be in the U.S armed forces because he made millions of dollars as an athlete in America. No disrespect to Rachel Robinson, but Jackie was no hero to African people.

    • Miya Reply

      April 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you for that insight I never considered that was a part of the plan all along.

  10. Denise Reply

    April 19, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    Thank you for this Ms. Carnell. I was not aware of Jackie Robinson’s testimony against Paul Robeson or his denunciation of Dr. King. I am familiar with his criticism of Muhammad Ali’s refusal to enter the draft and the disparaging remarks he made about the protests at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. I can understand that Mr. Robinson may have felt under tremendous pressure to criticize Robeson. What I can’t abide is why he allowed himself to be trotted out as a p**n for the establishment in the 1960s. He was long retired from the game. With that said, there are no icons. Everyone has good and bad ideas, the sum total of the person should be considered. Whether it’s Ali, King, Robeson, or Robinson, the whole truth must ALWAYS be told. I learned that from Malcolm X.

  11. Edward Rhymes PhD Reply

    April 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I think that we should also reflect on the other side of the coin as it were, when it comes to the desegregation of baseball and American sports: the guys who didn’t make it and the reason they didn’t. Here’s a piece I wrote several years ago and I believe it still retains some relevance.

    http://www.blackcommentator.com/122/122_invisible_asterisk.html

  12. Dr. Johnny Duncan Reply

    April 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Ms Yvette Carnell, you are definitely a soothsayer! In other words, you have read my mind and out it in print. My question remains:

    “WHY MUST THE WHITE MAN’S EYES BE THE TELESCOPE WHICH SIGHTS THE IMPORTANCE OF EVERYTHING WE DO?”

  13. norman hensley Reply

    April 19, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I hope everyone reads what retake says about jackie robinson.
    It the true story about his relationship with nixion and his entire tesimony regarding paul roberson.
    Some of the negative comments are heartbreaking.
    Fox news,bill orielly,right wing radio loves to comment like these.
    Sometimes we are our own worse enemy.

  14. Phillip Battle Reply

    April 18, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Thank You YBW for this venue that allows ALL OF US to express our knowledge- as well as our opinions. Today maybe the day that we will take the experiences of our fore parents; and formulate an agenda that will lead us to GREATER HEIGHTS- OTHER THAN NOT OWNING NOTHING, AND KILLING EACHOTHER- ON A DAY TO DAY BASES.

    PEACE

  15. Ernest Reply

    April 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    According Jackie Robinson, in 1949 he struggled with his decision to testify against Robeson to HUAC. Technically, Robinson was not required to testify, but he believed there would be repercussions if he did not. In July 1949, Robinson eventually agreed to testify before HUAC, fearing that declining to do so might negatively and permanently damage not only his career but also the future integration of professional athletics.[8] His testimony was a major media event, with Robinson’s carefully worded statement appearing on the front page of The New York Times the following day. In the statement – prepared with the help of Branch Rickey, who in order to facilitate the testimony, released Robinson from a prior agreement not to make any political statements during his baseball career[9] – Robinson said that Robeson “has a right to his personal views, and if he wants to sound silly when he expresses them in public, that is his business and not mine . . . . He’s still a famous ex-athlete and a great singer and actor.”[8] Robinson also stated that “the fact that it is a Communist who denounces injustice in the courts, police brutality, and lynching when it happens doesn’t change the truth of his charges,” and that racial discrimination is not “a creation of Communist imagination.”[9][10] Robinson left the capital immediately after his testimony to avoid, as the black newspaper New Age pointed out, “being Jim Crowed by Washington’s infamous lily-white hotels.”[11]

  16. Truthbeliever Reply

    April 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Let it go already.

  17. Janice Reply

    April 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Nothing has changed; we have the first black President and his following in Jackie Robinson footsteps. When we stop being a sucker for the devil.

  18. Andre Reply

    April 18, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Very well put Yvette!

  19. makheru bradley Reply

    April 18, 2013 at 12:25 am

    I must admit that when I took my grandchildren to see “42” last Sunday the box office success of the movie never entered my mind. I wanted them to get a perspective of history. I think it would be good movie for all of our youth to see. While I agree with the critics who say the movie should have focused more on Robinson’s internal struggles to stay focused on the “big picture” while enduring excruciating duress, it was a profile of courage, discipline, and determination.

    Our young people may get a better understanding of the true meaning and intent of the “n-word” from this movie. Some analysts have said that Robinson’s internalization of his anger probably contributed to his later health issues and early d***h. After all this is a man who defended a friend’s rights against a police officer and was arrested while attending Pasadena City College.

    After the movie my 7-year-old grand said, “Pa next year in 2nd grade we have to do a project on a famous person and I’m doing mine on Jackie Robinson.” I think he grasped a sense of the history of that era.

    The criticism’s above listed by Ms. Carnell are not who Jack Robinson was. It only reflects a superficial analysis of a few his political positions. Robinson did not “unleash the Congressional hounds on Robeson.” Paul Robeson was in the crosshairs of the national security state years before Robinson’s testimony. Anyone with elementary knowledge of Robeson’s history knows this. Perhaps Ms. Carnell should be equally critical of Paul Robeson since he met with MLB commissioner Landis in 1943 to push for the desegregation of MLB.

    Paul Robeson, Jr. explained their views of Robinson’s HUAC testimony. See youtube: HUAC’s Jackie Robinson v Paul Robeson.

    Jack Robinson, a political independent, supported Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign primarily because Nixon supported the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts. John Kennedy initially voted against the 1957 legislation and only voted for it once it was effectively gutted by Southern Democrats. Rev. Martin L. King, Sr. initially supported Nixon, but switched to Kennedy after his phone call to Mrs. Coretta Scott King. Robinson pleaded with Nixon to also call Mrs. King, but he refused. The Kennedy’s rewarded the King’s by granting J. Edgar Hoover authority to wiretap Dr. King, Jr.

    All of the major civil rights organizations and prominent Black people of 1967 opposed Dr. King’s position on the Vietnam War except SNCC and the Black Panther Party. They were silent on Lyndon Johnson’s war of aggression (Vietnam) just like they were silent on Barack Obama’s war of aggression (Libya).

    In the context of this article shouldn’t Ms. Carnell be critical of YBW for accepting advertising from white corporations?

    • T Reply

      April 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      Thank you so much elder for your wisdom! I wish these bloggers that have readily access to the masses would do an in depth analysis instead of what was said here. i wish she saw the movie also so we get even more insight. Your grandchildren are blessed.

    • Johnnie Ford Reply

      April 19, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Enjoyed reading your response. Reminds me of “whose report will you believe? Thanks for giving the whole picture. Too bad that everyone who reads this article won’t scroll down to read this which only perpetuates single-minded views. I’m also reminded of “crabs in a barrel.” Must we always try to find some reason to throw salt? It’s easy to find statements that will support your views but at least give the other side of the argument as well.

  20. makheru bradley Reply

    April 18, 2013 at 12:15 am

    I must admit that when I took my grandchildren to see “42” last Sunday the box office success of the movie never entered my mind. I wanted them to get a perspective of history. I think it would be good movie for all of our youth to see. While I agree with the critics who say the movie should have focused more on Robinson’s internal struggles to stay focused on the “big picture” while enduring excruciating duress, it was a profile of courage, discipline, and determination.

    Our young people may get a better understanding of the true meaning and intent of the “n-word” from this movie. Some analysts have said that Robinson’s internalization of his anger probably contributed to his later health issues and early d***h. After all this is a man who defended a friend’s rights against a police officer and was arrested while attending Pasadena City College.

    After the movie my 7-year-old grand said, “Pa next year in 2nd grade we have to do a project on a famous person and I’m doing mine on Jackie Robinson.” I think he grasped a sense of the history of that era.

    The criticism’s above listed by Ms. Carnell are not who Jack Robinson was. It only reflects a superficial analysis of a few his political positions. Robinson did not “unleash the Congressional hounds on Robeson.” Paul Robeson was in the crosshairs of the national security state years before Robinson’s testimony. Anyone with elementary knowledge of Robeson’s history knows this. Perhaps Ms. Carnell should be equally critical of Paul Robeson since he met with MLB commissioner Landis in 1943 to push for the desegregation of MLB.

    Paul Robeson, Jr. explained their views of Robinson’s HUAC testimony. See youtube: HUAC’s Jackie Robinson v Paul Robeson.

    Jack Robinson a political independent, supported Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign primarily because Nixon supported the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts. John Kennedy initially voted against the 1957 legislation and only voted for it once it was effectively gutted by Southern Democrats. Rev. Martin L. King, Sr. initially supported Nixon, but switched to Kennedy after his phone call to Mrs. Coretta Scott King. Robinson pleaded with Nixon to also call Mrs. King, but he refused. The Kennedy’s rewarded the King’s by granting J. Edgar Hoover authority to wiretap Dr. King, Jr.

    All of the major civil rights organizations and prominent Black people of 1967 opposed Dr. King’s position on the Vietnam War except SNCC and the Black Panther Party. They were silent on Lyndon Johnson’s war of aggression (Vietnam) just like they were silent on Barack Obama’s war of aggression (Libya).

    In the context of this article shouldn’t Ms. Carnell be critical of YBW for accepting advertising from white corporations?

  21. Zumani Monet Reply

    April 18, 2013 at 12:07 am

    This blog about Robinson was truly an eye opener. The Robinson you wrote about was totally different than the person that was portrayed in the movie. Before I watched Robinson, I didn’t know that much about Robinson’s life except that he was the first black baseball player that played in the major leagues and therefore, opened the doors to many blacks and latinos that came after him. I am opened to hear all points of view, so I acknowledge that the author raised some good points in this article. However, I think the author failed to see the positive in the film’s success. The film was a success despite having an unknown playing a major role. That speaks volumes to hollywood. It means that people are interested in seeing stories about black legends and heroes. As a result of the film’s success, hollywood will invest in more films that centers around a hero in the black community. Hopefully we will see in the future, Paul Robeson portrayed in the next film. When I went to see 42, there were many young people in the audience. They talked a lot during the film, but they were there because they were interested. This means our stories will not died but will go on from years to come. This is a major triumphant.

  22. blacjk jones Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    Some of claim they want to be equal –But they really want to be SUPERIOR—I agree that life is a GAME and those who do not take it Serious are the best PLAYERS—-There is no such thing as EQUAL in this “GAME—and Jackie Played it as he saw it RIGHT, WRONG or IN DIFFERENT—-I will see the movie make up my own mind–I’ve always felt EQUAL! –America’s ruling class will never give up their game-Because they Understand it’s only a” GAME” and we only have a limited time to play it—-GET ON WITH LIVING and stop CONSUMING so much unnecessary stuff—THEN we can call ourselves “GOOD PLAYERS”…PEACE!!!!!

  23. Truth Speaks Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    I saw 42. I liked 42. I am not a baseball fan so I truly was ignorant to ‘the Jackie Robinson story’…good, bad, ugly. Perhaps Mr. Robinson was in a no win situation. Those were the signs of those times. Perhaps he saw, like many intelligent black folks see, that we are NEVER going to win in America as long as we are 15% of the population and have zero collective wealth. Perhaps he didn’t understand the game he was made to be a p**n in. Sad but possibly true. Sure 42 was heavily romanticized (surely due to his wife’s influence) and according to S. Carnell super duper whitewashed by the Hollywood machine. EVERYONE has choices that they’ve made that can be questionable. Perhaps Mr. Robinson was an opportunist who saw a chance to change the world in a way no one else could at the time. Sometimes you got to be in it to win it! Can’t talk smack from the outside looking in. I wonder how many negative ninnies on this post have the fortitude, backbone, witherall and courage to withstand what Jackie did???? Some of y’all can’t, or won’t or don’t even stand up for your own KIDS and communities let alone anything else…smh. Some of y’all weak minded losers fall to the okey doke like its nobody’s business and try to drag down the ones setting about creating change. SHAME ON YOU. Black folks continue to lag behind because of other black folks. We know the klans agenda. Nothing new. But every black man, woman and child who hasn’t pursued and earned a degree from an institution of higher learning is the reason why we’re still on the plantation. We’re just ‘free range’ slaves now roaming under the illusion of freedom bearing invisible shackles.

  24. POP'S "D" Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    I believe until you walk in another’s shoes. One should remain silent and let their actions do the talking. Words build a house of emptiness with no foundation. The Willie Lynch is close to being right yet as far from being right as Alaska is from New York. Willie Lynch taught White Slave Owners how to control, divide, and manipulate the limited mental strength of a people who were in a strange world learning a strange action and owning nothing. Today we suffer from the need to integrate our thoughts, words and deeds with those that continue to destroy what many of us have tried to build. Our differences if discussed in mind of the greater good will allow us to reestablish our value system of being relative and supporting. I thought this blog was developed to embrace and enhance UNITY. We are still enslaved by the oppressors value system and our own selfishness that drives to disregard and devalue each other. We all need to be transformed by the renewing of OUR MINDS. As Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes “Wake Up Everybody!!
    Respectfully, POP’s “D”

  25. Samuel Hill Jr Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Why is it , when a topic of discussion is presented , the comments turn into degrading another’s comment, calling each other names an etc? Don’t some of us realize that is a form of the Crab in the Barrel syndrome! Show intelligence an stick to the TOPIC! Smh

  26. Gerelyn Reynolds Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I saw the movie “42″ and it was awesome. There was no s*x on the screen, the story line was something we can all learn from. Harrison Ford was great and the actor who portrayed Jackie Robinson should get an Academy Award. We need to stop trying to forget about the way blacks were treated in the Jim Crow south and instead learn more of our history and how our ancestors faught and overcame it. We can’t eradicate prejudice but we can learn enough about our history to make us proud of who we are. I’m proud to be black and I defy anyone who tries to intimidate me, black or white.

  27. Jacqueline Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Meanwhile here in Chicago and all over schools are closing and slaughter continues.

    • PetefromDetroit Reply

      April 17, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      Outstanding essay Ms. Carnell.
      You always argue from a subjective point then, an objective point. Then, an objective assessment.Then a plan of action. Sometimes very plain and sometimes kinda esoteric.
      Stay Up.
      P.S. More of Mr. Robert please.

    • Peter D. Slaughter Reply

      April 17, 2013 at 11:51 pm

      Great comment and it’s really g******e,eugenics and population right in the faces of black people.

  28. Corey Williams Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    yea thats a very trivial reason considering he was already in baseball prior to that…i think that not seeing this movie is a s**p in the face…Jackie Robinson is a hero of our culture. I mean he was the first to prove the fact of black people not only being equal athletes but quite possibly superior. But im sure that the makers of the film give a d**n less if u dont see…but as much of d**n u give people that quit reading your stuff. You should encourage and uplift our black heros and help instill a sense of pride in our people in stead of trying to blow hot air…im sure u didnt see Django either…yea id rather remember Jackie as a symbol of our people…

  29. byron Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Just listen to yourselves! You read one little article by this agenda riddled “Dr. Carnell”. and you fall in lock step like Communist soldiers! Most of you are just sheep easily led to slaughter. She has an agenda folks! Jackie Robinson was a great baseball player who helped open doors for Blacks and Hispanics in sports and in other walkes of life. He was probably a decent man too, and probable not a saint. Dr. King was no saint either. He had his faults. You have heard of some them. Dr. Carnell listed no quotes or transcripts attributed to Jackie Robinson. So, saying he testified against Paul Robeson means nothing to me. Blacks testify against Blacks everyday! Sometimes it is needed. Just look at hoe Dr. Cornell has been marginalized by his OWN PEOPLE for simply not falling under Obama’s spell! Think for yourselves people!

    • Zack Thereporter Reply

      April 18, 2013 at 11:03 am

      I can think for myself, byron. And that’s why I agree with what she wrote.

      If anything, Ms. Carnell educated us on matters that we knew nothing about until now.

      Was integration really a good idea? The black community was more united and more powerful when we all lived together.

      It should matter to you that Jackie wasn’t the great man that every one makes him to be. Plus, I’m tired of Hollywood pandering to us with films like “Red Tails” and “42,” while assuming that we HAVE to go to see the movie because we’re black.

      I know my history. That movie is for those who don’t.

  30. Reggie Reggmail Sutton Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I agree with use doing our own research.

    In my opinion, We get upset when the white movie industry use their money to do movie’s about us, and yes, we still support and promote them even in having dialogue about movies.
    My question is, where are the Tyler Perry’s and the Oprah’s, Will Smith’s as well as up and coming black directors, producers alike? We need to start doing our own movies about our own people, and put our money and support where our mouths are.
    Not just bringing problem situations in our family’s to the big screen. Although they have their time’s and are somewhat entertaining, I don’t want to see another Family Reunion, or Why Did I Get Married 3, and even Madea,as funny as she is. It’s time for movies that is going to show and teach about us, and I’m convinced that it will not happen until it is done by us. (I also am still pushing and challenging someone to do an epic on (183 BCE – Hannibal Barca) Carthaginian general attacked Italy by crossing the Alps. His tactics are still being used today.
    Peace & blessings.

  31. Dr. Donald H. Smith Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I am in agreement with Yvette Carnell’s criticism of Jackie Robinson.I would add several additions. Paul Robeson was much more than an activist and actor. He was the greatest talent ever born in the United States:
    Phi Beta Kappa,valedictorian from Rutgers, Columbia University law graduate, All American in football,
    concert singer, stage and movie actor, speaker of twelve languages,but above all he was a champion of social and racial justice in the United States and throughout the world. I viewed Jackie Robinson on television before the House Un-American Activities Committee denouncing our and the nation’s greatest genius. Jackie Robinson had never met or spoken to Paul Robeson, but he joined the US government in condemning Robeson’s call for justice. It is ironic that the great baseball player was court martialed in the US army for protesting racism and was brutalized by baseball players from his own Brooklyn Dodgers team and other teams and then later turned on his brother.

  32. VoiceOf Truth Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Sometimes it’s easy to armchair analyze history from the “living room” of 2013, but back in the 1940s, America was far more obvious in its hatred of blacks than today. Blacks had to pursue different, often controversial strategies to break the shackles of hate forced on us then. People, including fellow blacks, criticized all black leaders, even Frederick Douglass and Nat Turner, among all the others. I think it’s counterproductive to criticize the late Jackie Robinson through the lens of 21st century glasses.

    • Miya Reply

      April 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      What shackles did he break? He went along with the status quo and turned on another brother. He worked with the government and denounced his own people. I think we need to address the problems with what we say should happen and what actually does.

  33. Dreadmon Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    growing up in the 50″s Jackie Robinson was idolized be myself and most all black sports fans. His breaking the color barrier in baseball was seen as a step in the movement for equality within this country, but ms Carnell”s article brings back memories of thing that I had long forgotten about Mr. Robinson as an activist I can remember the thing s that were said about his course of action during the movement of the sixty’s and I must agree with Ms Carnell in everything that she wrote. I believe that we as a people,myself included, have become to complacent and are just going looking for anything that makes us feel like things are getting better, but they really aren’t. We have a Black President yet I haven’t seen him include black problems in any of the social issues, I dig Obamma, but him being president hasn’t changed much for the position of being Black IN America.

  34. Gwenola Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I saw it and was h**t by the pain put upon Mr. Robinson. If anyone was born below the Mason Dixon line are aware how blacks were treated.
    I don’t see why it is such a surprise. We fought. I want to know if you are afraid to fight. He wasn’t the only person who had to go through

  35. vernetta Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Everyone has some History that is not pretty by no means, especially our history, but it is how we learn whether we like it or the person or not, it is something we still need to know.

  36. Retake Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    People stop being intellectual lazy and do research before you take the word of this author–Jackie Roberson, Paul Robeson and Dr. King were good friends–

    Yes Jackie testified against Paul, but take the time and read all what he said at the hearding. And yes he was pro war until his son went and retirned scare of shadows and a drug addict,

    And ues he voted for Nixon again Kennedy during 1960 presidental election. But did you know that Kennedy and Nixon made the same promises of improving the situations for Black Americans, the only different betweent the two men is that Kennedy may a public phone call to Mrs King when Dr King was arrested in George and Nixon didn’t. But are you aware that Kennedy didn’t want to be seen in public with Dr King until after the election.. Did you know that Dr King’s father was a Nixon man until the phone call as were many other blacks.
    And did you know that Jackie Roberson decided not to vote for Kennedy because he kenw the Dexiecract arm of the Democratic Party were all white supremacists, and once when he witness a Kennedy speech he saw the hated white supremacist Governor Faubus of Arkansas set on the stage..

    And are you aware that the Democratic Party of the 1960s is today’s Republican Party, and that the Republician Party of the 1960s is today’s Democratic Party. And did you know that the flip of the parties was resulted of Notjern army of the Democratic Party voting with the Repunlician Party to pass the 1964 Covil Right Bill and the 1965 Voting Right Bill.. The Dexiecracts defected to the Republican Party, and that is why today the Republican Party control the South vote.

    And did you know that John and Robert Kennedy, as was all of the Kennedy, were big supported of Joseph McCarthy ( of McCarthyism). He was so closs to the Kennedy that he dated two of the Kennedy’s sisters. Don’t take my words for any of this, do like I did, do you own research. Kennedy supported MacCarthy attacks on Americans who he said were communists and communist’s supporters.

    Later in life (1968) Jackie let everyone know that he regreated doing the hearding, but historians reported that had he not he would have being k****d out of baseball, and this would have set the Civil Right movement back…

    There is much more I could say on this, but you all need to do you own research on a period in our history were you could have being lock- up or hung in trees for type what you have typed on this page. And one of the mean reason why you able to type and say anything you want and not be arrested or killed is because of people like Jackie Roberson, Paul Robeson, Dr King and many others whom name are not household names that were beating and killed in the Streets.

    Someone on this post said “don’t judge a book by its ‘ cover, read it first. The same thing is true about this bull shxx post, don’t judge Roberson because of the words of the author post, do your own research and then you can have intelligent discourse about Jackie..Anything less is intelletureal laziness.

    • T Reply

      April 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      THANK YOU!!

  37. dickpeery Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Robinson was typical of the black bourgeoisie of the time who groveled to prove their anticommunism. Most prominent blacks, including Thurgood Marshall who secretly worked with the FBI, shunned Robeson. They were in contrast to the many black people lost to history who forfeited jobs and careers rather than truckle to persecutors. Actor William Marshall, for instance, was one of the brightest new Hollywood stars until he embraced Robeson even though he had been told he would be blacklisted if he did so.

  38. Deborah Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 11:16 am

    You make some valid points, Yvette. But I think one of these black networks wrote a eulogy tio him a whils back. Anyhow, having seen the kind of things he did- backing Nixon (!), and the Vietnam War, an examople of American instigated g******e against innocent people, I am willign to withdraw some support for him. I admire that he fought against racism in his own way, but I amnot pleased about the later choices he made.

  39. Janette Price Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 10:09 am

    Most of you never lived any of this. You read about it,saw it on Tv or a movie. The only good thing is that you too will live long enough to learn something. What is really sad is that not much has been built on the foundation especially as we wait for the game to be fair. This movie only tells a story. What you get is an understanding of his life and the issues of that time and since his family is still alive and around to comment, there is some validity to the story. To quote a guy I really disliked ” you learn something from everyone and everything you are exposed to even if its that you dont want to be like them or repeat what is being done ,” learn the lessons.

  40. Cathy Edwards Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 8:54 am

    This article was so well-written it really requires no further comments! We as a people have been ‘duped and hood-winked’ into believing to acquire what white people have and to assimilate white people we are successful! We get excited when black athletes sign a huge lucrative contract never even considering what that same athlete will earn I will profits for their white massa (their teams owners)! We’re still on a plantation even Prince and Michael Jackson voiced that after they’re so-called success!!! Thanks for sounding the alarm once again to wake our people up!!!

  41. Peter D. Slaughter Reply

    April 17, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Let’s look at the basic real history and end result of this integration and breaking the color line.
    A vast % of black’s of today are and have been intergrated right out of their minds and souls.
    Dr. Khalid was one of the first I ever heard say it.

  42. Kim Worthy Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I get it, on point.

  43. Steve Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    People, People, People! If you know the game
    you can play the game! After all, LIFE IS A GAME!

  44. Latrice Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I’m surprised he spoke against Dr.King.. didn’t they both want integration? This article has taught me something. I think the key here is he did what was best for him and his family, not the black community as a whole. If he helped destroy the negro leagues and the people that were employed because of it, then we all should be looking at things a little closer. I know we like to poke our chest out and be proud when some of us hhad or have achieved “greatness”, but at what cost to us a whole. I think this is the question we need to answer

  45. MILES EARL Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    SIMPLE SOLUTION – See
    FREE ANGELA DAVIS AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS

    • Dan Reply

      April 16, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      AMEN!!!!! Great movie I saw it already here in DC :)

  46. MACK MORROW JR Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    It will not put any money in my or your pockets so why even bother? This is truth: “NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE TELLING YOU THEY ARE NOT TELLING YOU THE W H O L E TRUTH. NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT M O N E Y ! Think on it.

  47. Barbara Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    So Dr. Boyce tells us to go see the White man’s “Django,” but not the White man’s “42?” How about we make our own movies so the money can go into Black pockets.

    The Jackie Robinson Foundation has given over 50 million dollars for Black scholarships, and continues to give. That’s a positive legacy he left us.

    • Peter D. Slaughter Reply

      April 17, 2013 at 12:02 am

      Peace sister.
      I have not seen django nor do I plan to see it.
      I get it,I read books.
      No time for movies from hollyweird where somebody is calling me a n word.
      What trips me out is how so many black people seem to think this was such a great movie to see.
      slave massa has been tricking slaves for years.
      I wonder how come so many black’s refuse to see this and it’s right in their faces.
      I wonder why do many black’s like to be abused and tricked by slavemassa.

  48. ST Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    I’m sorry, but I don’t get these people who do not go to see these movies, but have all sorts of comments (bascially criticism) regarding them. It’s like not reading a book, but still feel you have the right to critique it. The same type of criticism was done with the movie Django. If you go see it and don’t like it, that’s one thing. But to criticize based on a concept is ridiculous. Even if you have a certain ideology, you can’t judge a book by its cover. You have to read it. Unless you know what you’re talking about, it’s conjecture and shouldn’t be accepted as anything more than that. Wisdom isn’t based on assumptions. It’s based on one experiencing the facts. Making judgements without these points doesn’t show intelligence or insight. It shows bias and arrogance.

    • Earl Mitchell Reply

      April 17, 2013 at 2:13 am

      Black people are not monolithic even though it would be nice to be monolithic in efforts to assist each other individually ar eas a group. . it is difficult to understand why one has an opinion about a movie or book or anything when you have not seen it or read it.
      Yes, Jackie Robinson was a Republican and supported Richard Nixon.
      He was a veteran and a patriot but remember he refused to sit in the back of the bus as an officer and was court martial. He marched with King and the Jackie Robinson Foundation has provided significantly to the well being of many black children.

      It is hard to criticize someone like him unless you have walked in his path. He,was a remarkable athlete and a most remarkable person.

  49. April Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    i went to see the movie and i thought it was good….I thought he made the choice he felt was good for him & his family….

  50. Michael Hanny Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I may be somewhat ignorant of the idiosyncrasies contained within history, but one thing I have experienced as a black man—being looked down upon as inferior because of my skin color. Despite his wanton airing and actioning of his views, his being willing to endure what he did cost something. That should be acknowledged, and it is not a trivial or minor thing, but major. Unless we actually believe that we as a people had the financial AND social wherewithal to make it in this country without integration, actions by Black people like Robinson had to happen. There are pros and cons to everything, but the scale of rationality, in my experience, sides with honoring his feat. Opened minds that were not Black. Planted seeds of doubt within the ignorant. Allowed talent to rise and flourish at the highest levels, even if some of those levels were dominated by whites. I plan on watching the movie for the sheer history of it. If someone feels that history (or Robinson) gave us a raw deal, then make your own movie about it! But please, stop serving the Hatorade!!

    • Teri Reply

      April 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      “Unless we actually believe that we as a people had the financial AND social wherewithal to make it in this country without integration, ”

      Did you actually say that weak s**t?

      • VoiceOf Truth Reply

        April 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm

        Good catch. Too many of our people don’t realize that the golden era of Black Independence was from the Post Reconstruction Era until the 1910s. The evil ones who run the hate-based system were alarmed at our independence, and so introduced the poison pill of socially engineered “integration”

        • Teri Reply

          April 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm

          Exactly right Voiceof Truth. Imagine the amount of money that would accrue to the Negro League if all the Black players were playing for that organization instead of the NBL. Most of the top players for the NBA, NFL, and NBL are non-white. So we made millions of dollars for an organization that was racist instead of building our own. That is an ongoing problem today and it is one that is crippling us in terms of wealth and jobs. The average Black family has slightly over $5,000 in wealth compared to $113,000 for an average white family. That is shameful. It is time we support ourselves and hire our own people. NO WHITE ICE IS NOT COLDER!!

    • Miya Reply

      April 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      I get where you are coming from but HIS STORY is not our history. This prejudiced system has kept us down by presenting half truths and romanticizing slavery and Jim Crow among other things that prohibit the plight of black and brown people.

  51. sam smith Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Ms. Carnell article is on point. I would go on to say Jackie Robinson, Jesse Owens & Joe Louis had to play with the hands that were dealt to them. Going afetr Paul Robeson I do not agree with or questioning MLK patroitsim. I will probably not see the movie and wait till it comes on DVD. The last real black movie I seen was The Hurricane in 1999.

  52. krp Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    In breaking the color barrier, Jackie Robinson destroyed the Negro Leagues and with it the livelihoods of all the black b**t writers who were employed covering those teams.

    Separate but unequal is better than what we have now. In Separate but equal, blacks students competed against themselves and didn’t expect passing grades just because they were black. Black test scores were on par with whites. Blacks went to separate but unequal schools and learned to read and write and do arithmetic instead of going to un-separated schools just to make a political statement – and nothing else.

  53. willie Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    real history is the best, it may not be movie worthy in today’s society, i may still go see the movie with my kids, because i do believe their is a positive story in their, similar to clearance thomas and c rice. we often dont like the journey some take to achieve certain levels, but does not take away from the fact that as person of color they achieved, i am sure robinson opinions on some of these matters did not mean anything until he achieved some status as a star player. he was still disliked because of his color.

  54. Taj Harris Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Jackie Robinson,Joe Louis were part of the old guard of African American athletes who thought doing things a certain way was ok…They both often clashed with younger more militant minded African Americans athletes in the 60′s who were determined to k**k in the door when it came to civil rights..

  55. Ear lMartin Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    I am very impress with the article as well as the reply that I have read,But the choices that Jackie Robinson made were necessary for the life he lived to excited and empower this very conversation.
    I inspired by his “Determination” and appalled by some of his decision which I would have never known had the writer not done her homework,which raises a very important question isn’t that the same “Determination” Jackie Robinson excerised to make it through a time in History he live in. Judge not that you may not be Judge with the very same judgement. When someone make a decision to do there homework on your life decision… “That Black History” And continue to be Empowered… Like I said I’m Impressed with article and replies

    • truk Reply

      April 20, 2013 at 3:37 am

      huh?

  56. Darryl c*x Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Ha! The filter on this site keeps removing the letter ‘O’ from my last name. Somebody should tell the programmers that my surname is the 68th most common surnames in this country. LOL!

  57. Darryl c*x Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Thanks, Yvette! I wasn’t planning to see the movie because I don’t like Hollywood biopics. Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” is the only film in that genre I consider to be a first rate film and high artistic achievement. Your comments have given me more ballast and cause to say, “Nope. Not going to see it.”

  58. Greg L Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    I’m in the amen corner on this article. Excellent!

  59. CommonSense King Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    This site promotes nothing but redundant news stories with no solution to escalate the end of all the pain and suffering that’s moreso caused by black on black crime than any other external institution.

    The stories that come from this media source does nothing but feed the trolls with sensationalized visions of overthrowing the white majority rule with fictionalized scenarios and loud typings of black power. Everyone wants to be a revolutionary without a plan of action or a means to escape the persecution.

    At the end of the day you’re still p*****g in the same pot and throwing trash out of the dirty windows in your rented establishment! Do something constructive with your lives and let nature handle it’s own course.

  60. Truthbeliever Reply

    April 16, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Good essay. Ms. Carnell brings out some excellent points if her research is correct. However, not everyone going to a movie is seeking to join a cause. I don’t generally view movies or documentaries as a win or loss if all I’m aiming for is entertainment. While there are many causes I deem invaluable, I don’t feel the need to make a statement with every choice I make. It doesn’t mean I’m culturally lacking or politically uninformed. It’s just that I don’t need to sponsor a dog in every fight.

    Also, many people who make contributions in one particular area may be lacking in another. No one can be all things to all people.

    • xavier james Reply

      April 17, 2013 at 12:04 am

      Good Response. I guess the question is was Robinson a buck-dancing c**n who tried to bring down blacks who were making a difference(without the help or approval of whites)or a genuine hero? W.E.B. Du Bois went along with certain white folks against people like Marcus Garvey, who advocated separation from white folks altogether. Jackie Robinson was a p**n who knew and acknowledged he would be a house negro of sorts. What most of you don’t understand is once they buy you they own your azz forever. And whatever they want you to do you do. Ask Clarance Thomas or Herman Cain…Maybe Al Sharpton too.

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