eng1102paper1 - Carroll 1 Sean Carroll Professor Sammond...

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Carroll 1 Sean Carroll Professor Sammond ENGW 1102 20 February 2015 The Unbreakable Broken Jack Roosevelt Robinson was the first baseball player to cross the color line after the gentleman's agreement and play in the Major Leagues with all white people, in 1947. Robinson influenced many Americans to stand up for what is right, helping the civil rights movement progress and allow his fellow negro ball players to get a chance to play in the Major Leagues. America’s national pastime was changing and baseball was finally opening up it’s doors for black people, but it would not change overnight. During the early 20th century baseball was segregated by the gentleman’s agreement which stated that Major League baseball is for whites only, which was established in the late 1800’s. The blacks created their own negro leagues that struggled to stay alive but, still allowed these players to play America’s pastime. Gus Greenlee opened the doors and gave opportunities to many black ball players. Greenlee created a negro league called the NNL, one of few popular negro leagues, that stretched from the Chesapeake Bay to the Great Lakes. These leagues struggled to survive with lower attendance at games than the majors, old equipment and faced problems with transportation. The negro leagues and its players challenged the color line and the gentlemen's agreement everyday they were still alive and playing. These players knew the day would come where blacks would be allowed to play in the Major Leagues. Leslie Heaphy, who wrote a short piece on the importance of the negro leagues says, “In the end of World War II became the deciding factor, as it became harder to argue that
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