Jackie Robinson refused to move to the back of the bus
Jackie Robinson was as fierce and determined about fighting injustice as he was about hitting home runs and stealing bases. He took stands against discrimination throughout his life. In fact, a decade before Rosa Parks’s legendary refusal to give up her seat, Jackie Robinson refused to move to the back of a bus.
Drafted into the Army during World War II, 2nd Lt. Jack R. Robinson was stationed at Camp Hood, Texas, in 1944. Riding a military shuttle, Lieutenant Robinson was ordered to move to the rear by the civilian driver. Robinson explained that the War Department had recently desegregated military buses. But this was the Jim Crow South. The driver called the military police. A crowd gathered. Things escalated. Robinson was charged with insubordination and conduct disrespectful to his superior officer.
Banner Image: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with Jackie Robinson on his right, Southern Christian Leadership Conference Convention, 1962
Image copyright Estate of James Karales, Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York