In Jackie Robinson’s speech, “Free Minds and Hearts at Work,” he talks about the issue of prejudice in his life and in generations to come. Jackie Robinson was the only black major league baseball player at his time. It was not easy for him to play with so much prejudice in his life. He decided to fight against all of it. He did this so that his kids and future generations did not have to deal with the same problems as him. He does tell his kids that they still need to work to become something great though. Nothing comes without a price.
This speech relates to Peekay’s life a few times in chapter 12. There has been prejudice against Peekay with his race in school and life, but now also in the boxing ring where he longs to be. As Peekay is fighting Killer Kroon, he says, “I’m going to kill you, you blery rooinek.” Just like in his school, Peekay is judged by his background rather than who he is as a person. In Jackie Robinson’s life, he was judged by the color of his skin and not by his playing abilities sometimes. He said, “Whatever obstacles I found, made me fight all the harder.” This means that just like in The Power of One, Jackie used what his opponents thought and what troubles he had in his own advantage. Peekay uses what Killer Kroon says and other things that happened in his past to build up and rise above his opponents. In both these people, the over confidence of their competition could have led them to victory.
When Jackie Robinson says, “There is a chance for you, not a guarantee, but a chance,” I feel like this quote talks about how someone must make their future. Jackie made history by becoming the first black player in the Major Leagues, and he did that by persevering and trying his hardest in his sport. As a young kid, I have always tried my hardest in my sports to be the best that I could be. I think that if I beat my brother in swimming it will be similar to Jackie Robinson beating white players in baseball. Blacks did not have a chance to beat the whites in many things before Jackie Robinson. He showed that it was possible and people can do it. If I beat my brother, I feel like I will be breaking a barrier that has been in front of me my whole life, and in my own little way, history will be made.