First Class Citizenship:The Civil Rights Letters of Jackie Robinson

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First Class Citizenship:The Civil Rights Letters of Jackie Robinson

"Brings together not only an extraordinary set of documents by and about the postbaseball Robinson but, through these letters, an extraordinary account of the times." --Gerald Early, "BookForum"

Jackie Robinson's courage on the baseball diamond is one of the great stories of the civil rights struggle, but he was a fighter off the field as well. In "First Class Citizenship," Michael G. Long unearths a remarkable trove of Robinson's correspondence with such towering political figures as Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Hubert Humphrey, Nelson Rockefeller, and Barry Goldwater. These extraordinary conversations reveal the scope and depth of Robinson's effort to rid America of racism.

Writing eloquently and with evident passion, Robinson offered support to both Democrats and Republicans, and challenged the nation's leaders when he felt they were guilty of hypocrisy--or worse. Through his words and actions, Robinson personified the "first class citizenship" he considered the birthright of all Americans, whatever their race.

Publication Date: 
September 20, 2008