Lest we get caught up in the rose-colored tint of celebrating Jackie Robinson's legacy, let's not forget how much the man sacrificed. Ron Rapoport, a former sportswriter for the LA Times, conducted one of the last, if not the last, interview with Robinson. From "He interviewed Jackie Robinson near the end" at LA Observed:
"I couldn't care less if someone is out there wearing 42," [Robinson] said. "It is an honor, but I get more of a thrill knowing there are people in baseball who believe in advancement based on ability. I'm more concerned about what I think about myself than what other people think. I think if you look back at why people think of me the way they do it's because white America doesn't like a black guy who stands up for what he believes. I don't feel baseball owes me a thing and I don't owe baseball a thing. I am glad I haven't had to go to baseball on my knees."
The whole article is worth a read, if just to contextualize the personal cost of advancing a country's consciousness.