Thursday, February 4, 2010

Love and History

This month is Black History month, and in celebration of it, and Valentine's day, I'm going to share inspiring love stories of Black couples throughout the month. I love reading about love, romance, marriage, and family, so why not post about it on the blog?

I'm going to start with one of my favorite love stories, that of Jackie and Rachel Robinson. As many of you know, Jackie Robinson was the first Black to enter the professional baseball league. He was an extraordinary man, and his relationship with his wife, Rachel, was special.

The courtship and marriage of legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson, and his wife, Rachel Robinson is inspiring and beautiful. Their marriage was based on mutual respect, love, admiration and commitment. It inspired me so much, that I became determined to marry a man with Jackie Robinson's qualities. There was more to the man who broke racial barriers by becoming the first Black baseball player to play in the professional leagues.

Jackie Robinson was a man of strong moral courage and conviction. Raised by a single mother whose husband deserted her with five children to raise, Jackie had a close relationship with his mother. Although he was close to following a rough path in life, a young Pastor took him under his wing, and inspired him to develop a stronger faith in God. Jackie Robinson was known as a man who tried to do the right thing. He had character and class.

He met his wife, Rachel Robinson, at UCLA, where they attended college. He was a senior and she was a freshman. She was a nursing student, who was serious about her studies, and a very classy lady. A mutual friend introduced them, and their romance blossomed. They courted for five years, because Rachel wanted to wait until after she had graduated from her 5 year nursing school program. After they married, Rachel became a homemaker, and focused on tending to their home and supporting her husband.

What makes their marriage so inspiring and beautiful is because Jackie Robinson was an athlete who withstood temptation and chose his wife every time. Teammates joked and teased him about his fidelity to his wife. While most of his teammates chased women, drank alcohol, smoked, etc, he remained steadfast to his commitment and loyalty to his wife, and to living a life that was above reproach. His teammates attested to the fact that he was so straightlaced, and did not have other women.

One of his roommates, Joe Black, said, "When he'd be on that phone talking to Rachel, I mean, you could feel the excitement exuding through his body. You could feel the love going from his voice to her, flowing to her."

In a letter that he wrote to her he talked about trying to be the best husband that he could be, and he tells her, "It seems my habits make you sometimes doubt me but there is no question in my mind that my marriage is the greatest thing that could have happened to me. All the other honors are really secondary and Darling someday I'll prove it. I hope it will be soon. I will do everything to prove it."

He credited her for much of his success, saying that she, "was the one person who really kept me from throwing up my hands in despair many times; she was my strongest support during these trials. . . She always had the wise suggestion, the comforting touch, the encouragement to go on which carried me through. . . I can truly say that my rise to baseball fame is mainly due to my wife."

Jackie and Rachel Robinson are role models. Not only for what they accomplished as breaking barriers in baseball, but for what they stood for as a couple. They exemplified true commitment, loyalty, respect and love. And, it's an example that is needed for many couples today.

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