The key idea for my intertextual study is about breaking the colour barrier in American sport and that that people were being judged by the colour if there skin but should be judged by who they are as a person and that it only takes a few people to make a difference which is a constant theme conveyed in the poems Jackie Robinson…an American Hero by Stanley Cooper and the poem the poem colour barrier by Rosherren Williams.
The first poem I chose is Jackie Robinson an American Hero by Stanley Cooper is a poem which is about Jackie Robinson’s heroic effort to incorporate blacks into baseball and to break the colour barrier. This poems key idea is that he was seen as a true hero and how he made a huge impact on young black children as they saw him as a role model and inspired people to do what he did and play as a black man in a white man’s game to overcome the colour barrier and push through all the racism and difficulties along the way and be treated as an equal and respected.
A movie called 42 connects to this poem extremely well as it illustrates the racism and the heroism of Jackie Robinson who pushed to overcome an extremely racist time in American sporting history. There are three particular scenes in this movie I would like to talk about as I relates to my poem. One is where the team his is trying to make a petition to kick Robinson to off their team and the coach puts them in their place and says (play clip) this shows that his coach was sick of racism and was there to win like they should all want to this scene really helped Robinson as he started to gain respect amongst his team mates. The movie also shows how kids try to copy and mimic people they look up to and describes how they were seeing kids black and white trying to be like him which gave him more want to do well and be remembered as a hero of the game.
An biography written about Jackie Robinson links to the poem as it had quotes throughout it displaying the racism towards him and the respect he wanted. One of his more famous quotes was ‘I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.’ And ‘I never cared about acceptance as much as I cared about respect.’ After he was receiving death threats and racial taunts. The article was saying that the racial comments weren’t just coming from the fans but from the other team as the St. Louis Cardinals weren’t going to play against an African American player and teams were chanting “Hey, you black N*****” and “Why don’t you go back where you came from?” were two things he remembered getting chanted all throughout his first few years in the league.
The final thing connecting to this poem is a whole day in the MLB dedicated to Jackie Robinson this day is called Jackie Robinson day on this day everyone on the field including umpires and coaches wear his number on their uniform as a sign of respect for what he has done for the game as he ended segregation in baseball.
the poem colour barrier by Rosherren D. Williams reflects that people are being judged by the colour if there skin but should be judged by what lies within and what there like as a person. This poems key idea is about treating everyone as equals and overcoming adversity.
The movie remember the titans connects to this poem as it illustrates overcoming racism and judging people for who they are and not there physical characteristics. A key message in remember the titans is that everyone is human and there isn’t any reason people of different races can’t get along and have success together. There are a few scenes that push the team towards excepting each other. They went on a team camp to Gettysburg there were two particular scenes of this trip which were powerful and started to see a change. On was the bus ride and the other was when the coach took the whole team for a run to a Civil War cemetery where he said a impactful speech one key thing he said was ‘I don’t care If u like each other or not but you will respect each other” from then on in the movie they started looking through the colour of their skin and seeing what each of them were like as a person and became really close and started looking out for each other.
A famous speech from Martin Luther King called ‘I Have a Dream’ this speech on August 28, 1963 in which he argued powerfully and passionately for racial justice for African Americas and to bring an end to racism in the United States as he claims all men are created equal. He also goes on to say he wants his (4 little kids speech) this is saying to look beyond peoples skin and judge them by there personality which links to the colour barrier poem.
Throughout the poems by Rosherren Williams and Stanley Cooper the overriding theme of racism in America is discussed. Each poem uniquely links to the theme that people need to look deeper than the colour of peoples skin and it only takes a few people to make a difference. Both poets have a connection to the hardships faced by African Americans and have worked to make their story heard by readers in the form of poetry to relay issues they face on the daily.