Jackie Makes Himself Heard

Robinson was very concerned with making himself heard. He went on many speaking tours, but also used the media to promote his message and that of the organizations which he was promoting. For example, he was extremely pleased with his opportunity to appear on Meet the Press, a political interview program. However, this was not enough for him. The message of civil rights must be carried further.

The first of Jackie's ventures into media was the Jackie Robinson Show, a radio program which aired Sunday evenings. Jackie, though thoroughly against alcohol, accepted a sponsorship from Liebmann Breweries in order to air his show. It featured political figures, including Eleanor Roosevelt. Jackie tried, without success to also get President Eisenhower and Vice President Nixon to interview on his show.

President Eisenhower greetsJackie Robinson at a dinner in 1953.
n April of 1959, Jackie joined the New York Post as a columnist for the sports pages, though his most memorable pieces concerned civil rights and politics. When covering sports he focused, naturally, on baseball, but also wrote about boxing, football, basketball, golf, and tennis. Jackie also covered situations of international significance, such as events occurring in Africa and Cuba. His column was also distributed to other papers around the country. In his writing, Jackie made no secret of his support for political candidates, such as the presidential race between Nixon and Kennedy, a situation which eventually caused the Post to end his column.
Undaunted, Jackie continued to write a column, this time on the editorial page of the Amsterdam News. He made civil rights and politics his primary focus, from which he spread his opinions on the candidates and issues ofthe day. Many people were outraged by Jackie's words, while other praised him. He was called a traitor and a "rattlesnake" by racial extremists, and a tolerant and peaceful hero by more moderate reformers.
Jackie Robinson and Eleanor Roosevelt.

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