Sunday, April 7, 2013

Jackie Robinson Birthplace near Cairo, Georgia

Jackie Robinson Birthplace

Jackie Robinson, the famed player who became the first African American of the modern era to play major league baseball, was born in a sharecropper's house in rural Grady County, Georgia.

The chimney of the house still stands and can be seen along with a historical marker at the birthplace site on a country road about 11.5 miles south of Cairo, Georgia, and 22 miles north of Tallahassee, Florida.

Born Jack Roosevelt Robinson in 1919, Jackie Robinson spent the first years of his life in a frame house occupied by his family. His father was a sharecropper.  This system, under which men, women and sometimes children, worked in the fields in exchange for a share of the crop had been introduced in the South during the Reconstruction era by the U.S. Government as a way to get the farms back into operation at a time when hard money was in very short supply.

Chimney of Jackie Robinson Birthplace
The Reconstruction era government authorities eventually went away or were driven out, but the sharecropping system they imposed on poor whites and blacks in the South continued on well into the 20th century.

Robinson first learned about life watching his father work in such a system.  When his father left the family, his mother picked up her children - including the young Jackie Robinson - and moved them away in search of a better life.  He went on to play baseball, basketball, football and track at UCLA and eventually became the famed player who broke the color barrier in Major League baseball.

Robinson's life is portrayed in the new movie, "42."  Learn more about his birthplace at

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