An American Legend (2013)
Hip Hop is rhythm and soul. Hip Hop is grit and guts. Hip Hop is Swag and Saavy. If Hip Hop were around when Jackie Robinson hit the scene he'd be the poster boy, because just like Hip Hop ushered in a new era of music, Jackie Robinson ushered in a new era of baseball.
He was the pivot of change in American Baseball and an inspiration for America as a whole. Of course we are talking about no other than number 42 Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklin Dodgers Major League Baseball team.
The movie broke records in it's opening weekend, reaching a surprising $27.3 Million making it the biggest baseball film ever even when you account for inflation. An ironic feat considering the movie is about breaking the color barrier, uncharacteristically starring two African-Americans in a lead role a the while most African-American actors and actresses struggle against their own color barrier in the film industry but that's a different story.
This story is about a movie Directed by Brian Hedgeland best known for Robin Hood with Russel Crowe and Man of Fire with Denzel Washington. It features Harrison Ford , new comer Chadwick Boseman and Nicole Beharie.
[For More Pics of Nicole Click Here]
I'm not much of a baseball fan but as an African-American, or any athlete, or any American for that matter aspiring to be great or do great things, '42' is a must see. The movie depicts the great Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play American Leaque Baseball in the midst of racism and segregation. Before the Civil Rights Movement even had a name baseball had Jackie Robinson.
The movie covers just three years of Jackie Robinson's life when he was a World War II veteran playing in the Negro Leagues amd recruited by the Dodger General Manager Branch Rickey.
As you can imagine Robinson met tremendous resentment from the players to fans and everywhere in between and the movie depicts this well. He's booed from the stands, pitchers are on a mission in attempting to knock is head clean off his shoulders. There is even a scene where he endures scathing and unrelenting racial banter for 5 mintues as Jackie can barely hold it together. Boseman, a graceful and good looking actor gives Robinson a stare that's reveals his pain, intelligence and anger without uttering a word. Jackie doesn't fight back although he very well could but he swallows his pride and outrage to fight by only playing the hell out the game.
This story moves me in that we often lose site of the fight for tomorrow for a show down today. We forget that fighting back today weakens our fight for tomorrow. What this story reinforces one to do is to keep your eye on the prize. Whether you be a rapper, athlete, enterainer or just the average Joe going to work every day. The fight isn't fist to fist but principal against principal and the first to raise a fist loses. Raising your fist today may forfeit greater opportunity in the future. Not only for you but for those that may come after you. For this reason you have to hold back and save for fight for the game at hand. Often times the best fight is simply being the best at the task.
In the film Jackie asked Rickie why he signed him. Rickie looked back at him and recalled an old baseball team mate in his college years. He could see his teammate was broken from the racism he had endured throughout his lifetime and thinking back, Rickie he didn't believe that he did enough about it. So this was his time to do what he should have done years ago and Jackie Robinson was his way to start it all off. Goes to show you. It's never too late to do the right thing.
'42' is a inspiring film that is sure to get your applause at the end. For this film we recommend you Pay Full Price and pick it up on DVD. It's a peice of American History everyone should own.
Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream (1995)
If you think you'll like '42' but don't know when you might get out to the theater you might also want to rent, or download Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream. It's another inspiring story by one of the home run hitting legends, Hammerin' Hank Aaron.
This video is a "Hard Hitting" documentary about the life and baseball career of Hank Aaron. Starting from his youth when he was a child up to the present day (then 1995), there is a treasure trove of old actual footage mixed with re-enactments.
By "Hard Hitting", I'm referring not only to Hammerin' Hank's vicious home run swing, but also the vicious racism he faced as he pursued the home run king's record. This video pulls no punches. The racist letters, the kidnapping threat on his daughter, and the long lonely offseason between dingers 713 and 714. Then, he met a new ladyfriend, and was ready for the new season, and the big challenge.
You'll learn that Aaron grew up a Dodgers fan and idolized Jackie Robinson and was very disappointed when Bobby Thomson hit his "shot heard 'round the world" in 1951 to defeat his Dodgers. This video goes into a lot of interesting detail about Aaron's life and playing career, including his involvement in the civil rights movement in the 1960s and the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King's death.
There are many interviews with many players he played with and against. The jist of the video, to summarize, is how Aaron overcame incredible odds to surpass Babe Ruth's all-time career home run record of 714.
It tells the whole ugly and beautiful story of a poor southern black child who worshipped Jackie Robinson, then went on to fight the same battle...and WIN BIG!