Few athletes have been as transcendent of their sport as . As the first Black baseball player in , Robinson married a stellar career on the field with advocacy for civil rights. Now (after a few speed bumps), a museum honoring his life is finally open.
in New York City boasts 20,000 square feet of history and Robinson’s story through interactive exhibits, memorabilia, and more. Walk into a room and you’ll see a scale model of Ebbets Field, where Robinson and the played. Other areas over 4500 artifacts from Robinson’s life and career, 40,000 images, and over 450 hours of footage.
Robinson, who died in 1972, broke baseball’s color barrier on April 15, 1947 when he signed with the Dodgers. He appeared in six World Series and later became a vice-president of personnel for Chock Full O’ Nuts coffee, as well as a television broadcast analyst. Robinson used his visibility to to the civil rights movement, raising money for the NAACP and helping to secure bail money for jailed activists. Robinson even held jazz concerts in his backyard, inviting legends like Dizzy Gillespie to play and collecting admission to donate. spoke at one of the gatherings; Robinson walked in the March on Washington in 1963, which culminated in King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.