Student Author(s)

Miriam Roth

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Jeanne Petit

Document Type


Event Date



This project traces the story of Jackie Robinson’s first two years in professional baseball, from 1945 to 1947, as told by the activist paper the Pittsburgh Courier. The Courier, the largest weekly paper in America at the time with a primarily African American readership, had a history of campaigning for the integration of baseball, and forged a direct relationship with Robinson through the initiative of one of its editors, Wendell Smith. Over the course of Robinson's quest for the major leagues, Smith and other writers for the Courier, including Robinson himself, utilized rhetoric that connected Robinson’s actions on the diamond to the greater fight for racial equality. Based primarily on research of the Courier’s sports section, this project analyzes how the paper used gameplay as a crucial tool in the paper's civil rights activism, fighting for integration in baseball and beyond.