Event honors Jackie Robinson's accomplishments beyond baseball diamond

Event honors Jackie Robinson's accomplishments beyond baseball diamond

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi came together Friday to honor Jackie Robinson, a baseball player who broke the color barrier in the Major League 69 years ago.

But Friday's event put on by the Biloxi chapter of the NAACP celebrated what Robinson accomplished beyond the baseball diamond, and that the lessons still matter.

"The accomplishments of Jackie Robinson and the type of obstacles that he had to overcome are still critical; are still the same types of obstacles that some of us are still facing today," said Gordon Jackson, chairman of the Biloxi NAACP's diversity committee.

Jackson says while Robinson felt and accepted the pressure, there were people in his corner.

"That's what we want to really chronicle to the people, as to how much it took a whole community to help him succeed," Jackson said.

The lessons came from students who portrayed some of the most important people in Robinson's life. Hillary Perryman portrayed Jackie's mother, Mallie Robinson.

"She was caring, nice, supportive," said Perryman. 

Monica Young portrayed Jackie's wife, Rachel Robinson. It was through her role that she learned about the legacy Robinson left behind. 

"It makes me feel happy that African Americans get to do everything that everybody else gets to do," Young noted.

The ceremony also included the Spirit of Jackie Robinson Awards, which honored community leaders who best exemplify Robinson's qualities.

Kay Horne accepted the honor for her father, Rosell Horne, the owner of the Biloxi Dodgers.

"It's very important because it instills discipline, if for no other reason," Horne said. "And it gives a sense of teamwork because you have to work as a team, not as an individual. It gives kids a chance to learn that camaraderie, and also to experience something that they probably would not have in their lives."

Other winners were Rip Daniels, Katherine Egland, the University of Mississippi NAACP Chapter, Ruth Story, Davey Whitney, Sonya Williams-Barnes and William Windham.

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