KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Jackie Robinson Day, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum unveiled an act of hate to remember the end of Major League Baseball’s color barrier.
The new exhibit is important in a continuing struggle for civil rights in America.
This is the 75th anniversary of Robinson’s entrance into the big leagues, shattering a barrier that had been in place for generations.
On Friday, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum unveiled a historical marker from the site of Robinson’s birthplace in Georgia. The marker had been vandalized and defaced by gunfire just last year.
After it was replaced by Major League Baseball, museum President Bob Kendrick jumped at the educational opportunity to display it in Kansas City.
“It was important for this to come home,” Kendrick said, “because it is a great example of the enduring legacy of Jackie Robinson. But also it makes it very evident that we still have great work to do as we continue to lay the foundation for why diversity, equity and inclusion are so vitally important as tools to help bridge us toward tolerance and respect.”
Kendrick said discussions about race are difficult, but he said he can think of no better place for them to start than at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Kendrick called Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers the true beginning of America’s civil rights movement.
For those who say one person can’t be the spark for change, Kendrick said Robinson is proof that’s not true.