Jackie Robinson will examine the life and times of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who in 1947 lifted an entire race, and nation, on his shoulders when he crossed baseball’s color line.
The film will follow Robinson and his family from rural Georgia and a hardscrabble life of sharecropping to California where he lettered in four sports at UCLA and met Rachel Isum – a nursing student and his future wife – through his days as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army during the Second World War and military trial over his refusal to move to the back of a Fort Hood bus.
It will tell the story of how Robinson, risking the dignity of his race and his own well-being, signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers and in the face of mutinous teammates and violent threats, both on and off the field, performed spectacularly, transforming national perceptions of what blacks could achieve. And it will recall Branch Rickey’s precise planning and the opposition he faced as he sought the right man for his “experiment,” and the social movements and cultural forces that ripened the climate for integration and hastened Robinson’s arrival.
Jackie Robinson will illuminate how Robinson, after baseball, continued his fight against discrimination as an irascible, widely-read newspaper columnist, tireless fundraiser and advocate for the civil rights movement, and divisive political activist. And it will look back at a pioneering entrepreneur and devoted family man who struggled to remain relevant as diabetes crippled his body and a new generation of black leaders set a more militant course for the civil rights movement.
The film will explore the legacy of a man whose exemplary life and aspirational message of equality continues to be a major influence on the lives of countless Americans.