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April 15, 2020
By Beatrice Alvarez
Any other April 15th, we would have celebrated Jackie Robinson Day by watching a Dodgers game. It was on April 15, 1947 that the great Jackie Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson was the first African American player to compete in Major League Baseball. Thus, every April 15th belongs to him, as baseball fans continue to honor his legacy.
This year, of course, everything is different. Major League Baseball suspended all operations and delayed the start of the 2020 season in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. We are practicing social distancing and missing baseball terribly. The good thing is Jackie Robinson Day is still happening, just as baseball is still "America's Pastime." And we have baseball documentaries to remind us why we love the game so much. Excuse us while we put on our lucky Dodgers cap, make a hot dog, and enjoy these six films about baseball.
In this two-part film from Ken Burns, we get a complete portrait of Jackie Robinson's life. His achievements in baseball were but a portion of his legacy. There is no better way to honor #42 than by learning more about him and his impact on American society.
The Negro Leagues were established in Kansas City in 1920. It was the home of the Kansas City Monarchs, where Jackie Robinson played shortstop for one season. Kansas City, Missouri's local station KCPT produced this documentary to look back on the century of baseball since then.
WMHT in Troy, New York told the story of their star team: the Mohawk Giants. Baseball games in the Schenectady region were a show to behold, with athleticism and pizzazz. This documentary reminds us how baseball is woven into so many of our communities and local histories.
Do you remember the St. Louis Browns? Generations of St. Louis, Missouri residents sure do. The Browns played baseball there for 51 years before moving to Baltimore (oh, hey O's!) This documentary from the Nine Network is a love letter to the true fans of a forgotten team.
Learn more about cultural appropriation (or is it appreciation?) before you finalize this year's Halloween costume.
Watch a collection of films and specials that highlight and add context to the many aspects of race and racism in our country.
PBS was among 60 nominees for the most compelling and empowering stories released in 2019.
Winners were announced May 19 and honored in a special internet celebration.
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