Beyond the Playing Field: Jackie Robinson, Civil Rights Advocate. (more inside)
"One could go on, and one will -- praising (...) the National Center for Jewish Film for releasing all four of Edgar Ulmer's Yiddish films in restored editions. But the DVD player is beckoning, and I think it is time for me to get back to the couch". The National Center for Jewish Film (NCJF) is a unique nonprofit motion picture archive, distributor and resource center housing the largest, most comprehensive collection of Jewish-theme film and video in the world. In their archives you can discover the works of Leo Fuchs, the "Yiddish Fred Astaire", restored gems (scroll down) like "Motl the Operator" and re-releases like "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg". (More on Greenberg, the Jewish kid who challenged Babe Ruth’s homerun record here, more on the NCJF inside).
Press Box Red For 50 years, Lester Rodney was a forgotten footnote in perhaps the most controversial American sports story of the 20th century: Jackie Robinson and the breaking of baseball's color barrier. Now, the 93-year-old Rodney is getting his due. In the decade before Robinson debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Rodney was the sports editor of the Daily Worker, a newspaper (the FBI files are here on .pdf) better known as the house organ of the American Communist Party. With strident editorials and feature stories about what he dubbed "The Crime of the Big Leagues," Rodney was an early, often lonely voice in the struggle to end segregation in baseball. But Rodney's contribution was never acknowledged, because of that "sickening Red tinge". Many baseball historians were staunchly anti-communist, and didn't want to acknowledge the contributions of the Communist Party. So Rodney's role (.pdf file) was left out of the official story. With the publication of his biography, Rodney's place in baseball's epochal story has introduced him to a new generation of admirers. "I wanted that ban to end because it was so unfair; I saw the tragedy of these great black ballplayers, like the catcher Josh Gibson, who didn't get a chance to play. It's unimaginable today, but look at Barry Bonds: Imagine if he had been born earlier and been unable to play." (login details for LATimes story in the main link: sparklebottom/sparklebottom)