Friday, April 19, 2013

"42" Was Jackie The First? #30 Orlando Cepeda Speaks of #42

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Jacquie Taliaferro, Founder, LaHitz Media
Jacquie Taliaferro, LaHitz Media CEO
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Press Release For Immediate Release

America's Favorite Past Time, "Money!
San Francisco-April 20, 2013-"Take me out to the ballgame or the movie theater and stop by the box office, please!"

It was during the late1800's that professional Black baseball leagues started.  Cash flow of course was the number one issue.  Additionally, segregation made traveling and lodging was a major league challenge.
One of the first leagues was formed in Texas.  "The Lone Star Colored League of Texas" had clubs representing, Galveston, Temple, Austin, Palestine, Beaumont, LaGrange, Houston. 
John Fowler is a Black man who played on integrated baseball teams across the nation.  KTVU Health and Science Editor, John Fowler did you know about John "Bud" Fowler?  Yes, baseball was racially integrated before Jackie Robinson.  Bud Fowler's era was before the "Color Barrier" was imposed.  This is why it is very important people of all colors and ethnic backgrounds should know history.
How did things get this way?  Because of too many evil people with power going unchecked.  Slavery had ended over 100 years ago, but when new injustices like Jim Crow, the Color Barrier and nowadays the challenge to the limited Voting Rights Act of 1965, it is hard to gain or regain a level playing field.
Major League Baseball is big business and the Bay Area is a prime market with the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A's.
Hindsight is 20/20 and today such an integration or merger would be more about incorporating two leagues and not just about one player much like the ABA and NBA in 1976.  Following the ban on integrated baseball teams, Jackie Robinson was the first Black player to break the "Color Barrier."  Robinson did so with grace, determination, and dignity knowing he was making an historic difference in spirit and economics for millions of people of color.   He not only broke the "Color Barrier," he also stood up for his rights in the U.S. Army and would not move to the back of the military bus.  This was eleven years before Rosa Parks stood her ground by keeping her seat.
As talented as he was, Jackie was not the best Black baseball player at the time,  however graduating  from U.C.L.A., growing up in Los Angeles and being a mature man, 28, he had the right swag for the time.

Ambassador Young and Jacquie Taliaferro Talk Impact of Sports on Social Justice
Ambassador Young and Jacquie Taliaferro Talk Impact of Sports on Social Justice. Young completing a media junket mentioned Jackie Robinson among other sports and social justice heroes.  Young spoke later that evening, Oct. 20, 2012 at the Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center in Oakland.
Jackie's historic winning breakthrough was a loss as well as thousand of jobs and Black ownership dissolved away.  After Black athletes started playing in the other leagues, the "Negro Baseball leagues" lost their fans.  A large talent pool of Black executives, managers, trainers, grounds keepers, vendors etc. had to find new work.

It is old and new frontier for black entrepreneurship in sports.  Robert Johnson, former owner of BET ( Black Entertainment Television) is now a principal owner of the Washington Nationals Baseball Team in D.C.
A few years back, I hosted a film panel "Old School/New School" for BET at the National Black Journalist Convention.  A group of journalists got to ask Robert Johnson about entrepreneurship and running BET.  I asked him, why did you stop airing Black college football.  We used to look forward to seeing Grambling vs. Southern or Tuskegee vs Howard and those stellar half-time shows.  Mr. President, CEO Johnson, put it simply.  "We aired Black college football for three seasons and wanted to continue.  There were two main factors, viewership and advertising.  Because many of our kids play for other universities, a major chunk of our audience watched our kids on another network with that advertisers were not paying us the same dollars as our competitors, although our production costs are the same."
"The Benjamins" affect the bottom line.  America's past time, the all-consuming dollar, is imposing a "Green Color Barrier" that affects how the playing field is leveled or not---give or take a few bucks here and there.
Sharon Robinson shares the stage with Dallas Film Society Artistic Director James Faust. Jackie Wright covering the recent Dallas Int. Film Festival for LaHitz Media noted Robinson's daughter said the family searched for 30 years for the right talent to bring the bigger than life story to the screen. Article coming soon.

With that said,  "the it was about time!"- Jackie Robinson story, "42" brought in more than $27.3 million dollars during its debut weekend.  It's bound to make much more worldwide and through DVD sales, etc.  The question that is in the forefront of my mind, is how many of those dollars will get back to the community that Jackie Robinson represented when he broke the "Color Barrier?"   Hopefully, one of the positives of all of this will be that the Jackie Robinson Foundation will never have to breakthrough the corporate barriers to get the well-deserved financial support it deserves.
Play Ball!  Make Money for All!
By A. Jacquie Taliaferro,
San Francisco Native

NAACP Just - In
SF Giants Legend Orlando Cepeda Speaks with SF Filmmaker Jacquie Taliaferro & NAACP Communications Chairman at the Giant's Screening of "42" at the Historic Vogue.

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