If you haven’t seen the trailer for the movie “42” (about the legendary Jackie Robinson) coming this April you’ll want to watch it:
I am excited about this film. I am a huge fan of the game of baseball. Also, I happen to appreciate the study of history. Many movies have attempted to explore the dynamics of race in our nation’s past. Some have done better than others. I think this film has a good chance at addressing the topic with one particular edge: the Black character should remain the hero. In the movie “The Help” I was quite critical of the film because it made one mistake in my opinion. It made the Black characters the supporting cast when it should have been the opposite. I think “42” will get this right.
If you watch the trailer there is a piece of dialogue beginning at 1:33 that moves me (imagine the whole film). Robinson is talking to Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey about the persecution he is facing for being a Black baseball player:
Robinson: “You want a player who doesn’t have the guts to fight back?”
Rickey: “No, I want a player who has the guts NOT to fight back!”
Robinson: “Give me a uniform, and give me a number on my back, and I’ll give you the guts.”
Our culture has debating how we should curb violence. As a Christian being an advocate for peace is an important part of my identity. Many Christians I know have succumbed to a dialogue that presents violence as a given. The only argument is who should be allowed to be violent. I hope a film like this speaks to us, reminding us that there is a third way, active non-violence (or messianic, active non-violence for us Christians).