The issue of civil rights violation in the United States has existed since time immemorial. The black Americans have been segregated for long and their rights violated. Such discrimination prompted people like Martin Luther King and Jackie Robinson to come out and fight for rights of the black people. Various documents are found in the archives, which were written by Jackie Robinson after his baseball career. He wrote various documents on the issue of racial discrimination. As much as the constitution protected the black people, Robinson and other African-Americans felt that not enough was being done to protect their rights (“The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration,” n.d.)
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In his documents, one to four, Jackie Robinson tries to argue that, despite that the law protects the rights of the blacks, there is still much to be done. In his first telegram to the White House, Robinson expresses his dissatisfaction with the state of the bill, which protects rights of the black people. He is calling upon the president to ensure that the bill is changed and implemented to the letter. He asserts that African-Americans have been patient enough with the segregation. In his letter to the president he also suggests that rights of the African-Americans need to be enhanced. He discusses impatience of the African-Americans in the fight for their freedom. The letter written to Robinson by Richard Nixon is a request to him to join Nixon in the fight against discrimination of the black people in America (“The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration,” n.d). Despite the fact that Robinson acknowledges the efforts by President Kennedy to stop racial discrimination, he believes it is in a slow pace. This is similar to the previous documents, which are emphasizing on the speeding of bill to protect the black Americans.
Differences in Documents 1-4
In the first telegram written to the president, Robinson wants the Civil Rights bill to be amended as soon as possible to protect rights of the black Americans. He wants the bill to accommodate all the Americans, whether blacks or whites. In the second document, which is a letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Robinson suggests that the president should promote freedom for African-Americans (“The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration,” n.d). In this letter Robinson tends to concentrate more on people who are against the freedom of all people. The letter by presidential candidate Nixon is an appreciation letter for what Robinson has been doing in regard to civil rights. The letter ensures that Robinson supports Nixon in his presidential bid because they have similar goals of fighting against discrimination and inequality. The fourth document addressed to President Kennedy explains the reason why Robinson could not support Kennedy’s bid for presidency. Robinson appreciates the efforts Kennedy is taking to ensure that there is equality for all.
Similarities between Documents 5-9
The content of the Documents 5-9 is about the struggle and the vigilance the black people had towards getting their freedom. The telegram to President Kennedy explains how people are suffering and being killed and detained (“The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration,” n.d). Robinson expresses his anger over how unarmed demonstrators have been beaten injured and even killed. This was echoed in the letter to President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, where he requested the president to avert the violence in Alabama. The letter to President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 is also about the riots and demonstrations by black Americans over the war in Vietnam. In his last document to Presidential assistant Roland L. Elliott, he pleads with him to give equal rights to all to avoid any more riots and conflicts by black Americans. He says that the young blacks cannot be patient and it is better they are given their rights to avert violence. These documents 5-9 are all discussing the issue of violence, demonstrations and killings of black demonstrators.
Differences in Documents 5-9
Robinson’s letter to President Kennedy on 15 June, 1963 is about the death of Medgar Evers who was shot in the demonstration. He calls for protection of Martin Luther King Junior. The interview on August 1963 is about his fight against racism, from his childhood until when he was a baseball player. He explains how he fought against racism. The next document is a plea to the government to stop the violence in Alabama before the black Americans can cause more violence (“The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration,” n.d). It is addressed to President Johnson in 1965. Another letter to the president is about the war in Vietnam and the stand of the black people. He asserts that most of the black Americans do not understand the value of the war. This is a letter, which has been addressed to the then president Johnson in 1967. The last document addressed to the Presidential assistant Roland L. Elliott appears like a warning to the president to consider demands of the young blacks who cannot be patient (“The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration,” n.d).
According to Jackie Robinson, it is evident from documents that the trend towards oppression of blacks was slowly changing. In his letter to the president in April 1967, he is clear that the president has taken steps to protect the civil rights of black Americans. He however argues that there is still much to be done to ensure equality for all.
Robinson was concerned with equality for all, regardless of color or place of origin. He was a black American who felt that his rights were being infringed. He shared this belief with many black Americans who sought equal opportunities in all sectors of the government. The inequalities expressed by Robinson lead to the witnessed demonstrations, which consequently lead to the brutalities.
Five hundred years from now black Americans would look back and appreciate the efforts made by such people like the late Martin Luther King and Jackie Robinson. These are people, according to the documents, who died in the fight against racial discrimination. The survival of this information depends on how well it is stored. With the advent of technology, I believe the information will still be as accurate as it is today.
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