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The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The Real Deal: The Jackie Robinson Story Untold

Jackie Robinson (Carlos Julian Colon) stares down an opposing pitcher as well as race barriers in the upcoming film. Will the film tell the whole story? (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

First, I would like to say that I am thrilled that Hollywood has finally completed a biographical film on Robinson that has the same quality as highly budgeted movies like “Ali ” starring Will Smith or “Glory Road.”

Untold stories that are brought to light with high-tech camera angles and talented casts.

As glad as I am that the movie is finally coming out, my question to Hollywood is: why did we have to wait so long? “Glory Road” came out seven years ago and the movie “Ali” came out twelve years ago.

If that’s not crazy enough for you, consider that the last actual Robinson movie, which actually starred the man playing himself, was “The Jackie Robinson Story” directed by Alfred E. Green in 1950.

The problem is simple, why was there a “Hoosiers” and a “Rudy,” or a movie about Bruce Jenner, the first white quarterback at the historically black college, Grambling state University in 1980, and yet no movie about the first credited African-American major league player.

The history books seem to have shut the door on the story of the real first African American major league player. How many people know who Moses Fleetwood Walker is?

Walker played one season as the catcher of the Toledo Blue Stockings, a club in the American Association. He then played in the minor leagues until 1889, when professional baseball erected a color barrier that stood for nearly 60 years.

What gives historians and filmmakers the right to blanket history to make Robinson the first black baseball player?

Robinson was selected for six consecutive All-Star games from 1949 to 1954, became the first black player to receive the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949 and was the first African-American inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962.

I think it’s great to applaud Robinson on all of these statistics, but I don’t think that should mean we forget about Fleetwood.

Numerous aspects of Walker’s life could be illustrated in a full-length film. He was born into a biracial household before the emancipation proclamation. His black father was the first black physician in his hometown. He was charged with murder after defending himself from an attacker and later acquitted.

But from the trend of Hollywood release dates, we shouldn’t expect to be seeing Fleetwood in a movie before the year 2062.

So yes, I am very excited about the new Jackie Robinson movie, but I am looking more forward to the Fleetwood story that still hasn’t been told.

I’m sure the movie will be great, but will it show how Robinson spent his time at Pasadena Junior College as a four sport All-American before attending UCLA ?

What about his time he spent in the military serving his country? I wonder how many black folks know that Robinson campaigned for Richard M. Nixon in the 1960 presidential election as a committed republican.

Hollywood has a habit of giving us race and sports fables of segregation, integration and celebration in which historians let them get away with inaccuracies; and that’s the “Real Deal.”

“The Real Deal” is a bi-weekly column written by Sports editor Aaron Hudson. He provides an honest, personal take on current events.

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About the Contributor
Aaron Hudson, Sports editor
Sports editor, spring 2013.

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The Real Deal: The Jackie Robinson Story Untold