OUTLINE 1. Introduction a. Hook: Over the decades, black teams played 445-recorded games against white tams, winning sixty-one percent of them. b. Historical Information. General background about the Leagues.
Thesis: Fences, and Jackie Robinson: The Biography, raises consciousness about the baseball players that have been overlooked, and the struggle they endured simply because of their color. 2. History of the Negro Leagues as portrayed in Jackie Robinson: The Biographya. What was the Negro League? b. Why was it separate? c. Who founded the League? d.
When was the League founded? e. Major teams in the league? f. How were the Negro League teams treated differently? i. Less funding 1. Creation on shadow ball ii.
Played in less ornate ball parks. Made less money 3. Physical and Mental Abuse of African American Players as illustrated by Jackie Robinson: The Biographya. Off the field i. Violence in the African American community ii. Daily struggles that had to be endured 1.
Financial hardships b. Struggles with the public On the road i. Social Life of African American baseball players c. Game time. Opposing teams and players and the Abuse they dispersed ii. Umpires and the Abuse they distributed 4.
Life in the Negro Leagues as portrayed by the story, Fences. Stylistic techniques used by August Wilson to show the struggle of African American players. i. Symbolism at the end ii. Images of how they lived. Context of the text that displayed details about their life 5. Contributions of Negro Leagues as portrayed in Jackie Robinson: The Biographya.
Moral support to African Americans in the communities and around the U.S. i. Role Models for the African American youth of America ii. Sense of Pride for the African Americans of America. Opportunity for African Americans during this time.
Inventions brought out by the Negro Leagues. Shin guardi i. Batting Helmet. Hit-and-run bunt technique c.
Economic strength amongst the African American community i. Business and the opportunity it presented to the African American community 6. Conclusion a. Restatement of thesis: Although there was a strong sense of inequality amongst the entire American society during this time, African Americans have proved to be aides in the process of making the game of baseball better for the future. b. Hook: the African American teams were a constant reminder that segregation and inequality existed.
INTRODUCTION 'Over the decades, African American teams played 445-recorded games against white teams, winning sixty-one percent of them. ' (Conrads, pg. 8) The Negro Leagues were an alternative baseball group for African American baseball player that were denied the right to ay with the white baseball payers in the Major League Baseball Association. In 1920, the first African American League was formed, and that paved the way for numerous African American innovation and movements. Fences, and Jackie Robinson: The Biography, raises consciousness about the baseball players that have been overlooked, and the struggle they had to endure simply because of their color. HISTORY OF THE NEGRO LEAGUES In a more focused sense, the Negro Leagues were an alternative league all in its own. It was primarily established for African Americans so they could play baseball, since they were prohibited from experiencing any type or activity with whites.
The reason this league was separate was because of the Jim Crow laws that had been enacted during the early 1900's, but in an opinionated note, I feel that whites simply didn't want to be outdone by their counterparts - African Americans. They basically stated that African Americans could not participate in any activity with whites, whether it is of public or unsocial nature. These laws displayed the mentality of the time, which inevitably filtered into the realm of baseball; at this point, segregation had gone so far as to prohibit any blacks from merely playing baseball with whites. It was not until 1933, when 'a former pitcher, Andrew 'Rube' Foster, formed the first black league, called the Negro National League, which contained such teams as the St. Louis Stars, Pittsburgh Crawfords, Philadelphia Stars, New York Lincoln Giants, and the Newark Eagles. ' Then, 'in 1937, the Negro American League was formed to rival the opposing Negro National League that consisted of the Memphis Red Sox, Kansas City Monarchs, Cleveland Buckeyes, Detroit Stars, and the Hill dale Daisies.
' (What Are... Leagues: Internet) The two leagues 'continued to go strong until the color line was broken in 1947, when the great Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers. ' Because of this, '... the Negro National League folded following the 1948 season and the Negro American League [folded]... in 1960. ' (What Are... Leagues: Internet) Moreover, just as the laws stated, the African Americans were not treated as equals even in the game of baseball. In fact, teams other than the Crawfords, and the Red Sox had to rent out baseball stadiums from the MLB teams in order to play.
Yankee Stadium was said to have profited hundreds of thousands of dollars a year just by renting out the stadium to the Negro Leagues. Shadow-Ball further illustrates the substantial differences in funding between the MLB, and the Negro Leagues. Because they Negro Leagues didn't have the money to buy supplies such as baseballs in some instances, they created Shadow-Ball. In this process, the 'players would actually practice hitting the ball and catching a ball that wasn't actually there. In fact, they would go full practices without even having a ball, which further enhanced their discipline and focus. ' (Conrads, pg. 6) but in some instances, when they couldn't play in Major League ballparks, they were simply left to play on the dilapidated fields various areas - wherever they could find a field.
Other than this, the players in the Negro Leagues did not make as much money as their counterparts who played in the MLB. For example, in Jackie Robinson's case, he 'signed his contract with the Dodgers... for the Major League minimum salary: $5,000... for the year. ' (Rampersad, pg. 167) Furthermore, in general, 'Negro leagues made about a quarter of what their counterparts in the major leagues were making,' but they kept their spirits alive, obliterated the negative energy, and kept playing the sport they loved... baseball. (Conrads, pg. 2) PHYSICAL AND MENTAL ABUSE From the 1920's, to about the 1960's, racism and the ideology of Jim Crow, had powered the United States' citizens frame of mind. At this time, Violence in the African American community was excessively in occurrence.
In fact, at a desegregation campaign that was led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, 'images of police dogs and fired hoses turned on demonstrators, including woman and children,' still haunt those that had lived throughout that time. (Rampersad, pg. 374) Moreover, peaceful marches led by Dr. King, were often broken up by police officers with the aide of tear gas, whips, and clubs. Not to mention the fact that at this time, church bombings were ramped. African American churches were often bombed, along with homes and other places they claimed for themselves.
But 'in July... 1964... after the shooting of a 15 - year - old Harlem boy, James Powell... by an off - duty police officer... erupted... in the worst riots there since 1943' and all because he whistled at a white women. (Conrads, pg. 9) More importantly, struggles in the household had to be endured by African Americans along with their problems in the community. 'I saw Josh Gibson's daughter yesterday.
She was walking around with raggedy shoes on her feet. Now I bet you Selkirk's daughter ain't walking around with raggedy shoes on her feet. ' (Wilson, pg. 9) This quotation from the story, Fences, conveys a lot of information. Basically, it displays the Negro players inadequate payments, the harsh conditions in which they lived, and societies means of throwing them to the side. Josh Gibson was said to be the premier power hitter in baseball history. While he played for the Negro Leagues, he knocked in ' a career 962 home runs,' which was more than any baseball player in history had ever accomplished.
(What Are... Leagues: Internet) On the contrary, Selkirk played right - field for the Yankees, and only hit a mere. 263, but still got paid more than the powerful catcher Josh Gibson. A social life for players in the Negro Leagues was a difficult task. Not only did they have to endure hatred letters, and constant threats, but they also were excluded from daily procedures such as eating dinner.
For example, in Jackie Robinson's case, 'at mealtime... Jack ate alone... to other players, eating in public with a black man was an embarrassment. ' (Rampersad, pg. 238) What's more, is the fact that blacks were excluded from all other 'white' places, such as bathrooms, restaurants, and even stores; blacks had their own places to go to, which were set aside specifically for their needs. In all, the white community did everything in their power to keep African Americans as far away from the 'white culture' as possible. On the other hand, the social lives of African Americans were not the only thing that was impaired - they also had to deal with hardships during game time. Abuse went beyond the social realm, and carried itself on the playing field.
In fact, opposing teams, and players exhibited many types of abuse, which was focused towards the African American players of certain teams. For instance, when Jackie Robinson would sit on the bench, he would look into the opposing dugout, and see the players 'point bats at [him] and make machine gun - like noises,' which signified the opposing players hatred for a Negro player. (Rampersad, pg. 176) Moreover, as Jackie Robinson could recall from his past playing baseball, 'the things the Phillies shouted at me from their benches, have been shouted at me form other benches... and... they sound jus the same in the Big Leagues as they did in the Minor Leagues. ' (Rampersad, pg. 173) As you can see, 'Jim Crow was in charge even on the playing field. When Jack went out for the baseball team, he was stopped. ' The individual that was in charge later replied that: 'I'll break this team up before I have a nigger on it.
' (Rampersad, pg. 91) Thus, as you can see, racism even in baseball was extremely powerful at the time, but it was not the end. Even the umpires donated to the racism in baseball. In baseball, at this time, umpires used their dictatorship over the game to call strikes, and throw players out of the game to benefit Jim Crow. As a matter of fact, when Jackie Robinson was up to the plate, he had stuck out looking.
Then, the umpire, Jocko Conan, began yelling 'that was a strike right down the middle' repeatedly. In truth, he was trying to make it look as if Jackie Robinson argued the call. Following this action, Robinson was thrown out of the game for supposedly arguing the call, when in fact he did nothing. LIFE IN THE NEGRO LEAGUES AS PORTRAYED BY THE STORY FENCES August Wilson's book, Fences, was in depths look into the lives of the African Americans that made the Negro Leagues what they are known as today.
He not only uses symbolism, but Imagery, and Character Development as well to illustrate his point. First off, his use of symbolism at the end hit me like a brick. Throughout the story, Troy, the main character, condemned baseball, and denounced what is stood for, but in fact, it was still a part of his soul. To cite an instance, Troy questions, 'what it ever get me (baseball)?
Ain't got a pot to piss in, or a window to throw it out of. ' (Wilson, pg. 9) In all actuality, Troy did love baseball, and when he died at the end swinging his bat, is displayed just that. In my opinion, it was his way of battling 'death,' which he deemed as not being able to play baseball, which was a direct association with the white community. Hence, he saw death as all the prohibitions and laws that stopped African Americans from living life; it finally caught up with him. Conversely, the imagery that Wilson used was extensively vital to the understanding of the story, and the situation the family was undergoing. For example, when Josh Gibson's daughter was spoken of being seen wearing raggedy clothes, it exhibited a world of detail to me.
I could see the daughter of the famous homerun hitter Josh Gibson, wearing a tattered old dress, which they couldn't afford to wash because they were unable to find the money for the luxury of a washing machine, and having a dirty complexion, with cuts on her feet from walking so much without shoes. If this does not affect you, then you simply do not have a soul. This girl should have been well off, just like all the other baseball stars, but she wasn't because her father played in the Colored League. In addition, the statements that were offered by Wilson's main character Troy, foretold the true struggle in which they experienced. For example, when he first found out that his son wanted to get recruited to go play football, Troy told his son that '...
The colored got to be twice as good before he get on the team. That's why I don't want you to get all tied up in them sports... All them teams the same. ' (Wilson, pg. 34) This was the truth; colored players even though sometimes better than the whites were denied the right to play simply because of their color. Troy didn't want his son to go through what he had - the heartbreak, and depression - because he got recruited, but never played; something Troy knew would happen.
On the other hand, at this point, times were said to be changing, but Troy denied his son the right to play because of what they had done to him in sports - his mind was poisoned by the fact that the white men were out to eliminate any chance an African American had to play ball (the past). To prove this, take into notice the way Troy spoke when conver sating with his wife about his son Troy replied, 'I don't want him to be like me! I want him to move as far away form my life as he can get... decided 17 years ago that boy wasn't getting involve in no sports. Not after what they did to me in the sports. ' (Wilson, pg. 39) It was said that only 'but two men ever played baseball as good as [Troy].
That's Babe Ruth and Josh Gibson,' but he was never given the opportunity to excel or to make any money doing so, thus, I can understand his bitter resentment towards the combination of sports and African Americans. (Wilson, pg. 8 - 9) CONTRIBUTIONS If it weren't for African Americans, and the Negro Leagues, we wouldn't have some of the innovations and techniques that we see today in the game of baseball. For one, they provided tremendous moral support to African Americans in the communities and around the United States. The 'black teams played games, and provided heroes to black youth. ' (Conrads, pg. 6) Never before had African American youth had role models and people they could have looked up to because of the segregation and Jim Crow laws that had sustained much power at this time.
No matter what race, a role model gives the youth a reason to succeed in life, and not be overwhelmed from the promises of the street. Other than giving the African American youth a role model to look up to, it also gave the African American population '... sources of pride, focus, and identity for the African American communities. ' (Segregation in Baseball: Internet) Because of their proven victorious status, playing '445 - recorded games against white teams, winning 61 percent of them,' it gave the African American community something to speak of at the dinner table so to speak. (Conrads, pg. 8) Now they had something to call their own, and it was something that was proven to be a success in more ways than one.
Other than providing a sense of pride, and establishing role models for the African American community as a whole, the Negro Leagues also constructed an opportunity for African Americans during this time. Before this, African Americans could only hold certain positions in the community; very low positions at that, which only paid a limited amount of money. On the contrary, they now had the opportunity to get paid more than any other job would offer them, since Jackie Robinson had paved the way for other African Americans to be converted into the MLB. Although they would be paid substantially less than their counterparts, they most often made enough to support themselves.
'... The Negro Leagues gave blacks a chance that 'white baseball' denied them. ' (Rampersad, pg. 115) But inventions had also been brought about from the Negro Leagues, such as the shin guard, batting helmet, and the hit-and-run bunt technique. ' The shin guard and batting helmet are both said to have their origin in black baseball. ' (Conrads, pg. 5) Although they have no real inventor, these modernizations have revolutionized baseball to what we know it as today. What would baseball be if there were no batting helmets or shin guards for the catchers?
In my opinion, I believe that Randy Johnson, who throws up to 100 miles per hour, would have an extraordinary increase in his strike out rate. In addition, 'Andrew 'Rube' Foster, called the father of 'black baseball' for his... developing the hit-and-run bunt during his days as a... manager. ' (Conrads, pg. 5) Without this development, I firmly believe baseball would not be the same as it is today. Therefore, the Negro Leagues have contributed far more to the game of baseball than anyone had ever imagined them to do. Other than the Negro Leagues innovations and moral support, the Negro Leagues have also proved to be an economic strength amongst the African American community. It was said, 'By the end of World War II, when they were at their peak, the Negro Leagues were a two million dollar empire.
' (Conrads, pg. 9) In fact, it was 'One of the largest black-dominated business in the country. ' (Conrads, pg. 9) In fact, it opened up new job opportunities for African Americans as the Negro Leagues gained popularity. It not only acquired money from the African American community, but also from the white community as well; white peoples were infatuated with the 'show' that the African Americans put on for them - they thought African Americans playing baseball, was much like a sea - lion juggling. CONCLUSION Although there was a strong sense of inequality amongst the entire American society during this time, African American have prove to be aides in the process of making the game of baseball better for ht future, along with the mentality of the average American. 'The African American teams were constant reminder that segregation and inequality existed. ' (Segregation in Baseball: Internet) What would baseball be without the greats such as Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, or Ken Griffey Jr. ?