How Did Jackie Robinson and Paul Robeson Differ?
What distinguishes Jackie Robinson from Paul Robeson? Compared to Robinson, Robeson adopted a more radical stance on equality. A. Philip Randolph claimed that it was unreasonable to expect African Americans to defend democracy in other nations because:
How did Jackie Robinson and Paul Robeson differ? This article explores the differences between the two and Jackie Robinson’s role in racial attitudes. Please find out about their HUAC investigations and Jackie Robinson’s influence on racial attitudes. Also, discover the similarities and differences between these two famous athletes. If you enjoyed reading this article, check out our other articles about the history of baseball and racial attitudes.
HUAC investigation of Jackie Robinson
In the summer of 1949, Jackie Robinson was called a witness before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Robeson, a political activist and towering figure of African descent, was a leading light in the Hollywood entertainment industry. He was a famous actor and singer who spent decades on stage in London. Robinson was uncomfortable being pitted against such an icon.
When Jackie Robinson was called to testify before HUAC, he was confronted with the possibility of repercussions if he refused to cooperate with the commission. At first, Robinson feared that refusing to cooperate with the commission could hinder the integration of professional sports. In the end, he agreed to testify in July 1949. However, his decision was controversial. Ultimately, Robinson said that he would testify for the sake of his family and the betterment of black people.
The HUAC investigation of Robeson and Robinson lasted two years. Robeson was branded a traitor by the establishment press and national politicians in response to his remarks. Many leading African-Americans denounced him, including Rep. Adam Powell and Mary McLeod Bethune. The hearings led to a formal investigation of the Committee. HUAC eventually ruled that Robeson was a traitor and declared him the “Kremlin’s voice in America.”
The HUAC investigation of Jackie Robinson and Paul Robeson occurred a year after President Truman issued Executive Order 9981. At the time, Robinson was the most public test case for integration, and he understood that his field performance would influence the racial attitudes of millions of Americans. However, Robinson disagreed with this decision and walked away from Washington, DC, shortly after his testimony.
During the Cold War, America was plagued with a growing Communist threat. The “Red Scare” resulted in a congressional committee called HUAC investigating the alleged Communist infiltration of the country. Jackie Robinson was called to testify before HUAC, as the famed black American actor Paul Roberson had made a statement in Paris in which he reportedly said that if war got heated up, Black Americans would not fight for the Soviets.
HUAC investigation of Paul Robeson
In the United States, the HUAC investigation of Paul Robeson was a significant event in the history of African-American civil rights. HUAC was composed of African-American artists and instrumental in orchestrating a campaign to discredit the renowned civil rights activist. As a result, Robeson’s books, recordings, and films were withdrawn from store shelves and unavailable for years. Furthermore, Robeson’s appearance at Carnegie Hall and film screenings were canceled.
During the HUAC investigation of Paul Robeson, HUAC called 90 witnesses, including well-known figures. During these hearings, people with past Communist affiliations were forced to testify and name other participants. Martin Berkeley identified 162 individuals. Most of these witnesses refused to testify because they did not want to name other participants in the Communist Party. However, after they testified, the Fifth Amendment would not be applicable.
In addition to the HUAC investigation of Paul Robeson, the AP misreported Robeson’s remarks, resulting in notorious headlines during the anti-communist hysteria of post-war America. HUAC then seized the opportunity and began questioning Robeson. Ultimately, the HUAC investigation made it a rite of passage for black artists to denounce Robeson.
The HUAC’s repercussions on the United States were far-reaching, and its impact continues today. During the Cold War, the HUAC branded two organizations as subversive and labeled their members subversive. Despite its widespread impact, the HUAC investigation of Paul Robeson reverberates throughout the entire entertainment industry. Unfortunately, there are no clear conclusions on why the HUAC investigated the two organizations in question.
HUAC investigated several people, including Paul Robeson and the Federal Theater Project. These groups were accused of being controlled by Communists, and HUAC found this to be the case. It was unclear if the HUAC was a communist spy, but the investigation led to a number of decisions that were largely pro-communist. The investigations were also related to Klan activities.
Differences between Jackie Robinson and Paul Robeson
In contrast to the racial divisions wrought by slavery, African-American athletes were often viewed with respect by their white opponents. Yet Jackie Robinson fought against racial bias and prejudice by challenging Paul Robeson’s views. Although the two athletes had much in common, many black writers viewed Jackie Robinson’s candid and patriotic statements negatively. A recent New York Age article stated that Jackie Robinson was “largely ignored” by the Harlem press, while the Brooklyn newspaper reported that no one had disagreed with him. Despite the negative response, Jackie Robinson’s stance on segregation positively affected many black columnists. The Afro-American published a cartoon smearing Robinson in a similar vein.
The Spingarn medal was awarded to Robinson for his pioneering work in integrating Major League Baseball. In addition to his baseball accomplishments, Robinson fought for racial equality in all aspects of American life. Throughout his career, Jackie Robinson chaired the NAACP’s annual Fight for Freedom campaign and toured the United States to raise funds for the organization.
In contrast, Nixon’s support of the Republican Party stung Robinson’s political career. In 1960, Robinson supported liberal Senator Hubert Humphrey (D-MN), a civil rights stalwart. However, in 1964, Robinson endorsed Republican candidate Richard Nixon, believing the former was a better choice. Robinson later regretted her decision, saying Nixon would not appear in Harlem to speak about the issues at stake in the race.
While both were great athletes and well-spoken orators, Robeson had many facets that distinguished her from her fellow activists. For example, in his travels to Europe in the 1930s, Robeson met with hostility in Nazi Germany but was welcomed as a hero in Stalin’s Soviet Union. Both spoke out against racism, but Robeson was a fierce critic of American imperialism and domestic racism.
In 1947, Robinson played his first season with the Royals, where he scored 113 runs and stole 40 bases in 124 games. After being called up to the Dodgers in 1947, he broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball by becoming the team’s Rookie of the Year. Robinson led his team to the National League pennant and World Series championship, among other accolades. And in 1949, Robinson also won the Rookie of the Year award. In addition to winning the batting championship, Robinson swung the bat with a record-breaking 125 runs.
Influence of Jackie Robinson on racial attitudes
As an athlete, Robinson fought to break down barriers. He won the Spingarn Medal, the first of its kind for an athlete. He spoke out against injustice and never stopped. Although he fell out with Campanella, he never lost his voice and continued speaking for racial equality. Jackie Robinson’s influence on racial attitudes is well-documented.
In addition to his sports accomplishments, Robinson spoke out against racism on and off the field. He answered questions posed to him by members of Congress about racial attitudes. One such occasion was Robinson testified before Congress about racism against African Americans. Robinson’s testimony came in response to comments made by Paul Robeson, a prominent black social activist, and communist sympathizer. During his testimony, Robinson reassured the congressional inquirers that racism against African Americans was a severe issue that had to be addressed.
After the 1960 election, Jackie Robinson continued correspondence with the White House on issues concerning African Americans and supported President Kennedy’s civil rights platform. In 1963, she and her son David participated in the March on Washington. However, Jackie Robinson’s support for the Republican Party in the 1960 election caused a backlash from the black community. In 1964, Robinson vigorously opposed the Republican selection of Barry Goldwater for President. Many black liberal Republicans then switched their support to Lyndon Johnson.
It was not long before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. At the time, the sport was still very segregated, and Jackie Robinson endured a lot of racism because of his race. He was a talented athlete but also a courageous man who refused to be swayed by racism. And he did so by fighting against racism. As a result, many black athletes today stand on Robinson’s shoulders.
In the spring of 1945, Jackie Robinson joined the professional Negro League. He earned $400 per month by touring the country with the Kansas City Monarchs. He was then approached by Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Branch Rickey, who believed it was time for integration in the game, wanted a player with a black skin tone. In addition, branch Rickey wanted a player who would represent the team in the big leagues and was just the guy.