published Friday, April 12th, 2013

'There is no magic; it takes grit'

First family reacts to ‘42’

First Lady Michelle Obama, right, introduces a panel of the cast and crew of the movie “42”
in the White House. Behind her sits Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
First Lady Michelle Obama, right, introduces a panel of the cast and crew of the movie “42” in the White House. Behind her sits Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Story of a legend; filmed in Chattanooga

The “raw emotion” of abuse heaped on baseball’s Jackie Robinson left the president and his wife shaken after watching the film.

First lady Michelle Obama said last week that the film about Jackie Robinson, the first black man in Major League Baseball, left her and President Barack Obama “visibly, physically moved.”

"How on earth did (the Robinsons) live through that. How did they do it? How did they endure the taunts and the bigotry for all of that time?" she said.

After viewing the movie with her husband a few days prior, the first lady joined a group of high school and college students to see it again in the White House theater. Some of the students attend a Los Angeles school named after Robinson, while others are undergraduate scholars in a program that bears his name.

“So as you think about the obstacles you face in your own life, as you hear someone telling you that you’re not good enough, or that you don't belong, I want you to think about how Jackie Robinson got up and played after he got spiked in the leg,” she told the students.

“There is no magic. That is the one thing I want you all to understand. If you gain nothing from this movie or any of our lives, there is no magic. It takes grit. It takes determination and a whole lot of hard work. And as you know in the movie, it takes guts.”

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