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Jackie Robinson Plaque Could Be Made More Visible

Published on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 | 6:37 am
The Jackie Robinson plaque. Image courtesy The Baseball Sociologist.

A plaque on Pepper Street honoring the time Civil Rights icon Jackie Robinson lived in Pasadena could be raised higher so that it’s easier to find.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, local author Okeyo Jumal told the council that he received a call from someone who could not find the plaque and asked that it be made more prominent.

“Unless you get out of your car and wander up the street you are not going to see it,” Jumal told the council.

Robinson family at their house on Pepper Street. Image courtesy Pasadena Museum of History

The flat plaque which is on the sidewalk reads, “Jackie Robinson resided on this site with his family from 1922 to 1946.”

According to Councilman John Kennedy, the plaque is near a property the Robinson family owned, not the house where Jackie and Mack Robinson lived.

“This is an opportunity for Pasadena to fully embrace Jackie Robinson in Northwest Pasadena and to celebrate, the struggles that he had to endure to achieve so much in America,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy forwarded to Jumal to Cultural Affairs Director Rochelle Branch.

When reached by phone on Tuesday, Branch said she had to research the next steps in the process and had nothing to report yet.

The Robinson brothers made history on the world stage. Jackie broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947. Before that he was a standout athlete at John Muir High School and UCLA.

His brother Mack won a silver medal in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, finishing behind Jesse Owens and smashing Hitler’s Aryan superiority claims.

According to some legends Owens had received new spikes shortly before the race which lead to his victory. Mack was using the same spikes he had run in all season.

The Robinsons faced and battled racism in Pasadena and helped desegregate the pool at Brookside Park.

When Mack Robinson returned to Pasadena after the Olympics, he felt unappreciated. According to reports, Jackie never returned to Pasadena.

Jackie and Mack’s younger brother Edgar was brutalized by Pasadena Police on the Rose Parade route over parade seats in 1939.

If Robinson’s plaque is raised, it could lead to the plaque of another prominent African American receiving the same treatment. A plaque honoring President Barack Obama on Glenarm Street also cannot be spotted from the street. Obama lived in Pasadena while attending Occidental University.


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