A note from J. Nicole Brooks
Mr. Rickey Calls A Meeting highlights the moment that Jackie Robinson integrated Major League Baseball. With energy and forcefulness, the play looks at the terrible consequences of racism and the fierce debate over the meaning of integration within the Black community.
The story of Jackie Robinson is not only a valuable moment in American history, but it is also an irresistible drama. Growing up, I thought I had a pretty good idea of who Jackie Robinson was--a soft spoken, well mannered gentleman and a pretty good athlete. I knew that Jackie could run, hit and field--but what I didnâ€™t know, is that Jackie couldnâ€™t fight back. Paul Robeson was a renaissance man who could move audiences to tears with his oration and his song. But I didnâ€™t quite realize that he was an iconoclast who refused to turn the other cheek. These two men were heroes of mine, and I cannot deny I was biased because they happen be legends Baseball and Theatre--two of my great passions. I stand proudly on their shoulders, along with countless other Negro men and women who chose to speak up or in some cases chose to take a vow of silence in the name of freedom and independence. I am a beneficiary of their battle for civil liberties. I invite you to take this journey with me, to explore these men and their imperfections. In baseball it isnâ€™t who and what you are, itâ€™s whether you can play the game. And folks, Jackie played one hell of a game.
J. Nicole Brooks