Indiana State University Newsroom

Biographer of Jackie Robinson to speak April 26

April 18, 2013

A biographer of iconic baseball player Jackie Robinson will speak at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 26 in Hulman Memorial Student Union, Dede I as part of Indiana State University's Community Semester series.

In addition to Robinson, Arnold Rampersad has written distinguished works on Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, Arthur Ashe and Ralph Ellison. Rampersad, professor emeritus of English at Stanford University, received unprecedented access to Robinson's private papers for his 1997 book, which allowed the author to bring the readers close to the legendary ballplayer who became a pivotal figure in race and civil rights. Robinson's landmark journey is chronicled in the movie "42," currently playing in theaters.

Robinson became the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947. He played for the Dodgers until his retirement in 1956.

A six-time All-Star and a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Robinson was also the first black television analyst in MLB, and the first black vice-president of a major American corporation. In recognition of his achievements on and off the field, Robinson, who died in 1972, was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Rampersad's talk is sponsored by the English and history departments, the African and African-American Studies Program, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Terre Haute Rex.

The Community Semester, which focuses on the theme "Our Town," is a way for the College of Arts and Sciences to showcase what it does best and to encourage faculty and students to share what they are learning to the community. It is also a way to bring innovative ideas in the science, humanities, liberal and creative arts to the area.


Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications and Marketing, 812-237-3783 or