They won’t be in classrooms Tuesday afternoon, which doesn’t mean they won’t be learning.
Students from Milwaukee’s Roosevelt Middle School have a date at a private screening of the Jackie Robinson biopic 42, and they’ll have some insightful hosts: Robinson’s daughter Sharon and baseball commissioner Bud Selig. After the noon screening at Marcus North Shore Cinema, Selig and Sharon Robinson will talk with the students, who are in grades 6-8.
The movie chronicles Jackie Robinson’s breaking of MLB’s color barrier. Signed by Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey, Robinson debuted with the Dodgers on April 15, 1947, wearing the jersey No. 42 that became synonymous with his legacy. It was, Selig says in a news release, “a watershed moment in American history and the Civil Rights Movement. This film is a profound way for all of us throughout Major League Baseball to educate our next generation about Jackie Robinson’s vital impact on our nation.”
Back in 1997, Selig and MLB commemorated Robinson’s achievements by retiring his jersey number throughout baseball. In 2004, MLB began officially celebrating April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day, which features every player in every ballpark wearing 42.
The movie 42, starring Harrison Ford as Rickey and Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson, has been in theaters since April 12 and had the biggest opening weekend for any baseball movie in history. Through a partnership that includes Major League Baseball and the Milwaukee Brewers - who’ll be represented at Tuesday’s screening by Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger - participating Roosevelt students will see the movie for free and be invited to post something about their experience at the website iam42.com.