Where have you gone, Jackie Robinson? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
(modified from Simon and Garfunkel lyrics for “Mrs. Robinson.”)
On Saturday, August 23, Jackie Robinson West, an all African American team from Englewood and other communities on Chicago’s South Side, won the U.S. title game in the Little League World Series. On Thursday, August 28, the City held a rally for these youth in Millenium Park, gave them a day at Navy Pier and set off fireworks that evening in their honor.
This was indeed a special moment for these 13 young men, the Englewood and South Side communities, the city of Chicago, and the entire nation to celebrate. It was also a moment of hope for those who come from areas that are socially and economically disadvantaged.
Now, we are in the month of September, and the glory days of these young boys of summer are slowly slipping away. The question is whether this unexpected moment of hope can be captured, sustained and converted to others.
To answer the question it is useful to look backward then forward.
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