Usually, parades on Michigan Avenue are reserved for Super Bowl Champions, the World Series or maybe even the NBA championships. But the Jackie Robinson West Little League team accomplished an amazing feat in 2014 by winning the World Little League Championship and taking their place in a parade surrounded by many… on Michigan Avenue. August 27, 2014, was truly a historical event.
How often do we see a group of young men – especially African-American men – inspire an entire city? The victory earned by these young men and the accolades that followed, go against the stereotype and often stigmatized goal placed on African-American males in athletics to be a star football player or basketball players like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant or LeBron James.
Despite the controversy regarding the opposing championship team over age limits (that is another issue for another article), the young men of Jackie Robinson West played, battled and won as a team.
The lesson to be learned by this team and taught is that “By working as a team and not as individuals we can accomplish amazing things – that would be virtually impossible as individuals.” Through one group of Chicago youth, we were all taught a lesson in strength, brotherhood, perseverance, resilience and community.
A lesson that should not only inspire our youth but all ages and races for generations to come.