As the first Major League Baseball player to break the color barrier in the 1940s, Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinsonhad to daily battle racism and gained the respect of generations while trailblazing for the civil rights movement. Though Jackie Robinson dealt with non-stop discrimination, his class and perseverance made history and served as a model for the greatness that is in the sport today and a legend in the struggle for civil rights in the United States. These quotes by Jackie Robinson on determination and fighting for civil rights will be inspirational for anyone looking to push through to victory.
In order for America to be 100 percent strong — economically, defensively and morally — we cannot afford the waste of having second- and third-class citizens.
The most luxurious possession, the richest treasure anybody has, is his personal dignity.
It is up to us in the North to provide aid and support to those who are actually bearing the brunt of the fight for equality down South. America has its iron curtain, too.
I don’t think it matters what I believe, only what I do.
I have always fought for my principles and spoken out for my ideals.
I never believed in backing out just because things weren’t the best they could be.
Yes, here is my homeground here and in all the Negro communities through the land. Here I stand.
I was proud to be in the hurricane eye of a significant breakthrough and to be used to prove that a sport can’t be national if blacks are barred from it.
I don’t owe any living person my soul, my integrity, my freedom of thought and speech.
It would make everything I worked for meaningless if baseball is integrated but political parties were segregated.
It’s not easy to be a martyr in the field of race relations.
The many of us who attain what we may and forget those who help us along the line we’ve got to remember that there are so many others to pull along the way. The farther they go, the further we all go.
My protest about the post exchange seating bore some results. More seats were allocated for blacks, but there were still separate sections for blacks and for whites. At least I had made my men realize that something could be accomplished by speaking out, and I hoped they would be less resigned to unjust conditions.
I believe in the goodness of a free society. And I believe that society can remain good only as long as we are willing to fight for it – and to fight against whatever imperfections may exist.
Just because young people are quieter today, we’ve no right to assume that the problems are solved.
A life has no importance except in the impact it has on other lives
I do not believe that every person, in every walk of life, can succeed in spite of any handicap. That would be perfection. But I do believe that what I was able to attain came to be because we put behind us (no matter how slowly) the dogmas of the past: to discover the truth of today; and perhaps the greatness of tomorrow.
I guess you’d call me an independent, since I’ve never identified myself with one party or another in politics. I always decide my vote by taking as careful a look as I can at the actual candidates and issues themselves, no matter what the party label.
There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.
I yearned to just stay in bed. But no matter how terrible I felt, I had to get up.
Recognition… has given me the determination to live as many more productive years as I can.
We’re in a real crisis situation where many times people are being turned away at the door.
Maybe I shouldn’t have said that, but I guess I did.
I speak to you only as an American who happens to be an American Negro and one who is proud of that heritage. We ask for nothing special. We ask only that we be permitted to compete on an even basis, and if we are not worthy, then the competition shall, per se, eliminate us.
I think if we go back and check our record, the Negro has proven beyond a doubt that we have been more than patient in seeking our rights as American citizens.
We’d better stop using generation gap as an alibi for alienation. Young and old are guilty of that. We’d better build a bridge over that gap.
Suppressed and repressed for so many years, they needed a victorious black man as a symbol. It would help them believe in themselves.
I don’t think that I or any other Negro, as an American citizen, should have to ask for anything that is rightfully his. We are demanding that we just be given the things that are rightfully ours and that we’re not looking for anything else.
I cannot possibly believe that I have it made while so many black brothers and sisters are hungry, inadequately housed, insufficiently clothed, denied their dignity as they live in slums or barely exist on welfare.
This ain’t fun. But you watch me, I’ll get it done.
How much more effective our demands for a piece of the action would be if we were negotiating from the strength or our own self-reliance rather than stating our case in the role of beggar or someone crying out for charity.
It kills me to lose. If I’m a troublemaker, and I don’t think that my temper makes me one, then it’s because I can’t stand losing. That’s the way I am about winning, all I ever wanted to do was finish first.
But as I write these words now I cannot stand and sing the National Anthem. I have learned that I remain a black in a white world.
Civil rights is not by any means the only issue that concerns me — nor, I think, any other Negro. As Americans, we have as much at stake in this country as anyone else. But since effective participation in a democracy is based upon enjoyment of basic freedoms that everyone else takes for granted, we need make no apologies for being especially interested in catching up on civil rights
Today, Negroes play on every big league club and in every minor league. With millions of other Negroes in other walks of life, we are willing to stand up and be counted for what we believe in. In baseball or out, we are no longer willing to wait until Judgment Day for equality – we want it here on earth as well as in Heaven.
I’m not buying anti-white attitudes. Too many people who are not black have proven to me that being real isn’t qualified by skin color but by character.
It hadn’t been easy. Some of my own teammates refused to accept me because I was black. I had been forced to live with snubs and rebuffs and rejections.
If I had to choose between baseball’s Hall of Fame and first class citizenship for all of my people. I would say first-class citizenship.
We have a social responsibility and we are held to a higher standard than other institutions.
The right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time.
We ask for nothing special. We ask only to be permitted to live as you live, and as our nation’s constitution provides.
I had to fight hard against loneliness, abuse, and the knowledge that any mistakes I made would be magnified because I was the only black man out there… I never cared about acceptance as much as I cared about respect.