New York Images: Jackie Robinson testifying before HUAC, 1949

Robinson HUAC

Brooklyn Dodgers star Jackie Robinson got pulled into Cold War politics in July 1949 when he was asked to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) about comments made by Paul Robeson, the famous African-American singer and performer. Robeson had stated that African-Americans wouldn’t fight against the Soviets because of the legacy of racism.

Robinson, probably the best-known African-American in the country, told HUAC: “I can’t speak for any 15,000,000 people any more than any other one person can, but I know that I’ve got too much invested for my wife and child and myself in the future of this country, and I and other Americans of many races and faiths have too much invested in our country’s welfare, for any of us to throw it away because of a siren song sung in bass.”

He added: “But that doesn’t mean that we’re going to stop fighting race discrimination in this country until we’ve got it licked. It means that we’re going to fight it all the harder because our stake in the future is so big. We can win our fight without the Communists and we don’t want their help.”

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