On the screen, ’42’ reminds us of the battle between hate and hope

The movie poster for "42."

The movie poster for “42.”

A look around the Destiny USA theater on Sunday afternoon revealed a wonderfully mixed crowd ready and eager to take in “42.”

Black people sat next to white people. Old people sat in front of young people.
And once the almost endless previews ended, we all got to experience for a few hours what it was like to be Jackie Robinson as he broke baseball’s color line with the Brooklyn Dodgers. America in 1947 was a divided nation, hate living down the street from hope.

Cinematic reminder well done.

Chadwick Boseman as young and black Mr. Robinson and Harrison Ford as old and white Branch Rickey made me believe as they portrayed the relationship bridge from an uneasy but determined alliance to successful star player and satisfied team owner.

Make no mistake. It was not easy being Jackie Robinson. And “42” reminds us all of the ugly racial incidents that turned from verbal slurs that would make a lesser man choose the fist to an ugly beaning.

Some teammates signed a petition saying they wouldn’t play with Robinson. Others stood up for his right to play. Pee Wee Reese, Eddie Stanky and Ralph Branca were shown as his supporters, at first grudging and later more accepting.

Everybody clapped together when the credits rolled.

My wife Karen and I overhead a young black woman behind us proudly declare that she could be a cousin of Jackie because they shared the same last name.

Generations prior had to fight for us to be able to sit in the dark and appreciate this movie together.

Yesterday was Jackie Robinson Day, where all major league players wear jersey No. 42 to honor Robinson. And on that day, somebody had enough hate in their heart to place two bombs by the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people. And yet the world watched as first responders rushed in, hoping to to help the injured.

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