As many people know, Chadwick Boseman, a 43-year-old actor, recently died of colon cancer. He was a great actor who starred in many movies, and was an inspiration, in one of the movies he was in, he was the first live-action Black superhero. My parents have been wanting me to watch some of the movies he was in, like Black Panther. Recently, we watched 42 as a family. It’s a really good movie about Jackie Robinson – the first Black person to play in Major League baseball. I also discovered a book in my house called Teammates by Peter Golenbock about the friendship between Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese.
The book openly explains about segregation and racial prejudice. The author talks about how Black people couldn’t drink out of the same water fountains as white people, and how Black people couldn’t even play on the same baseball teams as white people. He explains how Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, and many of his teammates were upset. But Harold “Pee Wee” Reese wasn’t like the rest of the team. When they asked him to sign a petition to throw Jackie off the team, he said, “I don’t care if this man is Black, blue, or striped – he can play and he can help us win.” And in one game, when many of the fans are screaming and yelling hateful things at Jackie, Pee Wee went over to Jackie Robinson and put his arm around him. It was a moment that would be marked in history.
I liked this book because it focused on a positive perspective, showing that many people supported integrating the baseball fields. It was a sweet story that everyone should read. The illustrations by Paul Bacon were awesome, I liked how there was a mix of real life photographs and pictures by the illustrator. Another thing that was cool was that the scene of Pee Wee putting his arm around Jackie on the field for his family and fans to see that we should be united – was actually in the movie, too. “I got family up there,” Pee Wee said. “I need them to know. I need them to know who I am.”
I recommend this book to readers any age. Maybe you are a grandparent remembering the days Jackie Robinson was on the baseball field, or a kid just starting to learn about him – you should read this book.
This book is good. I rate it three out of four roses!