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Robinson, Sharon 1950–

Sharon Robinson 1950

Baseball administrator, author

Childhood Lived in Public Eye

Began Nursing Career

Became an Author

Sources

Sharon Robinson grew up in the public eye as the daughter of Jackie Robinson, the famous baseball player who broke the major league color barrier in 1947. She has worked as a nurse midwife for twenty years, served as a trustee for the American College of Nurse-Midwives Foundation, and taught at Yale University School of Nursing, Columbia, Howard, and Georgetown universities. She has also served as a top official in Reverend Jesse Jacksons Operation PUSH organization, and as an executive member to the board of directors of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. In 1997, Robinson became the director of educational programming for Major League Baseball. She developed Breaking BarriersIts a Complete Game, a program that focused on human values and womens issues. The program was widely popular and used as an educational tool in thousands of classrooms across the United States.

Childhood Lived in Public Eye

Robinson was born in New York City on January 13, 1950, the middle child and only daughter of Rachel (Isum) Robinson and Jack Roosevelt Robinson. Her mother held a nursing degree, but was a full-time homemaker while her husband played major league base-ball. At the time of Sharons birth, Jackie Robinson had been scheduled to go to Hollywood to film The Jackie Robinson Story. He traveled to Hollywood after the birth and Robinson and her mother eventually flew out to California to be with Jackie during the filming. Her father starred as himself in the movie, while actress Ruby Dee played the part of her mother.

Robinsons childhood was lived in the public eye, and the media took many photos of the family. They were also featured in national magazines such as Life. The Robinson family lived in the St. Albans section of Long Island, and reporters and fans often came to the door unannounced for autographs or to take pictures. Robinson discussed this situation in her book Stealing Home: An Intimate Family Portrait by the Daughter of Jackie Robinson, All I knew was that my dad was a famous baseball player on the Brooklyn Dodgers and that people loved to tell stories about his feats.

When Robinson was two years old, her parents decided to move from Long Island. They desired a large country

At a Glance

Born January 13, 1950 in New York City; daughter of Jack Roosevelt (Jackie) Robinson, a professional baseball player, and Rachel (hum) Robinson, a nurse; married to Molver Fieffe; children: Jesse Martin Robinson Simms. Education: Howard University, B.S., 1973; Columbia University, M.S., 1976. Religion: Baptist.

Career: Registered nurse, 1973; nurse midwife, 1976; assistant professor at Yale University School of Nursing; staff member at Columbia, Howard, and Georgetown universities; executive director of PUSH for Excellence 198997; national director of educational programming for National League Baseball, 1997-.

Member: Board of trustees of the American College of Nurse-Midwives Foundation; executive member of the board of directors of the Jackie Robinson Foundation; American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM).

Addresses: Agent Marie Brown, Marie Brown Associates, 625 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.

home in an area where the schools were integrated and where their children could receive a quality education. The family decided to live in North Stamford, an all-white community in Connecticut. Upon their arrival in Stamford, the Robinsons experienced some racial discrimination and prejudice. However, they were eventually able to purchase some property and built a new home. Despite the fact that her parents wanted her to attend an integrated school, the school that Robinson and her brother attended was all white. Robinsons brother became the first African American child to attend school in North Stamford.

When she was six years old, Robinson saw the movie about her fathers life for the first time while she was attending a summer camp. In her book Stealing Home Robinson remarked that, at the time, she was largely unaware of her fathers accomplishments. By the time I was born the major trauma of the first few years in baseball were behind my parents. I did not grow up hearing horror stories of my fathers pioneering effortsnow, I was watching this story about my father for the first time [and] I saw a story about his playing, a story of racism and one brave attempt to end an aspect of it. It would have been a peculiar situation for an adult to deal with. It was certainly beyond the powers of comprehension of a six-year-old. She remembered being upset during parts of the movie, but also felt a deep sense of pride. I felt ready to burst, or blossom, and I think I knew even then that something inside me had changed, and just as my father had changed the larger world, my own little world would never look quite the same again.

Jackie Robinson retired from baseball in 1956. Although her brothers were disappointed that their father was leaving baseball, Robinson was glad because she could spend more time with her father. Even though Robinsons father had retired from baseball, the family remained in the public eye. While eating dinner at a restaurant, they were often interrupted by fans seeking autographs. Although her father dealt graciously with these fans, Robinson and her family knew that he was greatly displeased that their dinner was interrupted.

Robinsons childhood years were filled with typical school and family activities. She belonged to Jack and Jill, a national organization for the children of middle class African Americans. This organization offered opportunities for the children to socialize and participate in cultural and service activities. She also belonged to the Girl Scouts and attended summer camp. By the time she was finishing junior high school, the civil rights movement was in full swing. In 1963, Robinson and her family participated in the March on Washington and she heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. give his I Have A Dream speech. After the march, the Robinsons hosted a fund raising party at their home to benefit the civil rights movement and Dr. King attended. Robinson recalled in Stealing Home, Ordinarily, I wasnt thrown by celebrities, but Dr. King was different .standing in his presence was as close to God as I figured I would ever get.

During Robinsons first year in high school, Stamford began to integrate their public schools. She was bussed across town to Stamford High School, even though a new school had been built closer to her home. It marked the first time that Robinson had attended school with other African Americans. She found that she enjoyed the experience and became actively involved in school sports.

Began Nursing Career

During her junior year, Robinson became a nursing assistant at a local hospital. She received her interest in nursing from her grandmother, who thought that it was a good way to meet and marry a doctor. Robinson would often spend time with her grandmother knitting and watching The Doctors soap opera. Her grandmother also read doctor-nurse romance novels and Robinson found that she enjoyed them too. At the age of sixteen, she became engaged and also made plans to attend nursing school. After a nursing school accepted her into their program based, Robinson believed, on her fathers celebrity rather than her application and test scores, she refused to attend. This experience reinforced Robinsons need to establish her own identity and she later told Ebony, And my reason for getting engaged was to change my last name. I didnt realize it at that point but I wanted to be anonymous.

Robinson got married at the age of 18, but divorced one year later. She enrolled at Columbia University as a nursing student and met Joe Mitchel, who was enrolled in a pre-med program. They were married in 1968, but this marriage also ended in divorce. Robinson left Columbia and enrolled at Howard University, where she graduated with a degree in nursing in 1973. She began her nursing career and, at the age of 26, earned her masters degree in maternity nursing from Columbia Universitys School of Nursing. She also became certified in nurse-midwifery, where she said in Stealing Home that she joined the modern version of an ancient order. Fascinated with birth from childhood, raised by my mother to nurture, fueled by observing my parents find fulfillment in a life of service, I accepted my calling when it came.

In 1977 Robinson gave birth to her son, Jesse Martin Robinson Simms, and raised him as a single parent. After sixteen years of nursing and midwifery and teaching positions at Columbia, Howard, and Yale Universities, Robinson left the medical field in 1989 to work as executive director of PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) for Excellence, Jesse Jacksons civil rights organization. In 1997, she left PUSH to resume teaching and practicing midwifery.

Became an Author

Robinsons book, Stealing Home: An Intimate Family Portrait by the Daughter of Jackie Robinson was published in 1996. It provided many intimate details about growing up with a famous father. The book illustrated that even though the Robinsons lived the American Dream and that her father was greatly admired, the family also had its share of problems and difficulties. Publishers Weekly gave the book a favorable review.

Robinson left the nursing profession in 1997. That year marked the fiftieth anniversary of her fathers entry into Major League Baseball and many activities were held to commemorate the event. She was also hired as the national director of educational programming for National League Baseball. This position allowed Robinson to continue her love of teaching and offered an opportunity to pay tribute to her father and his many accomplishments.

Sources

Books

Rampersad, Arnold, Jackie Robinson. A Biography, Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.

Robinson, Jackie, as told to Alfred Duckett, I Never Had It Made, G.P. Putnams Sons, 1972.

Robinson, Rachel, with Lee Daniels, Jackie Robinson. An Intimate Portrait, Harry N. Abrams, 1996.

Robinson, Sharon, Stealing Home. An Intimate Family Portrait by the Daughter of Jackie Robinson, Harper Collins, 1996.

Periodicals

Christian Science Monitor, October 14, 1997, p. 15.

Ebony, November 1987, p. 62; October 1998, p. 45.

Jet, August 11, 1997, p. 48.

The Sporting News, August 24, 1998, p. 10.

Sandy J. Stiefer

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"Robinson, Sharon 1950–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Robinson, Sharon 1950-

Robinson, Sharon 1950-

Personal

Born January 13, 1950, in New York, NY; daughter of Jackie (a baseball player) and Rachel Robinson; married twice (both marriages ended); children: Jesse Simms. Education: Harvard University, B.S.; Columbia University, M.S.; University of Pennsylvania, certificate in teaching (nursing). Hobbies and other interests: Sports, reading.

Addresses

Home—New York, NY. Agent—Marie Brown, Marie Brown Associates, 625 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.

Career

Writer and director of educational programming. Worked as a nurse midwife, beginning 1975; Yale University, New Haven, CT, assistant professor of nursing; also taught at Columbia University, Howard University, and Georgetown University. Jackie Robinson Foundation, member of board of directors. Major League Baseball, director of educational programming, beginning 1997; manager of Breaking Barriers: In Sports, in Life (multi-curricular character-education program).

Member

American College of Nurse-Midwives (member, board of directors).

Awards, Honors

Medaille College, D.L.H. honoris causa, 1998.

Writings

Stealing Home: An Intimate Family Portrait by the Daughter of Jackie Robinson, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By, Scholastic Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Still the Storm, Genesis Press (Columbus, MS), 2002.

Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America, Scholastic Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Safe at Home, Scholastic Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Slam Dunk!, Scholastic Press (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to a women's health textbook; contributor of articles to Essence magazine and to professional journals.

Sidelights

Sharon Robinson was born in 1950 to a famous father: Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play major-league baseball. She recounts what it was like for her and her brothers to grow up in the public environment that came with their father's pioneering achievement in the world of sports in her 1996 book, Stealing Home: An Intimate Family Portrait by the Daughter of Jackie Robinson. Robinson also returns to her father's legacy in Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By and Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America.

As Robinson reveals in Stealing Home, Jackie Robinson tried very hard to be a good family man and to give time and attention to his children despite his demanding career in professional baseball. Nevertheless, Sharon and her brothers, Jackie, Jr. and David, felt the strain of having to share their dad with his many admiring fans. As an adult, Sharon became a nurse midwife, and survived two failed marriages. In addition to the details of her life and her family's life in Stealing Home, she also includes a collection of family photographs that follow her father's career and his growing family. A Publishers Weekly critic responded favorably to the volume, predicting that Sharon Robinson's "loving biography" of her father "will add to his stature."

In Jackie's Nine Robinson presents a collection of essays on nine inspiring character traits that shaped her while growing up under her father's tutelage: courage, determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment, and excellence. As Robinson writes in the book, Jackie's Nine "presents values as principles by which to shape a life, rather than as mere buzz worlds." The text also describes the efforts the elder Robinson made to embody those traits, prompting readers "to nurture those same values within their own lives," according to Daniel R. Beach in Book Report.

Promises to Keep provides readers with insight into the active role the baseball legend played in fueling the civil rights movement. Here Robinson chronicles her father's legendary career and the trials he faced while growing up and encountered as he pursued his celebrated athletic career. "In captivating words and picture," the daughter includes telling glimpses into Robinson's life that reveal "information on the post-Civil War world, race relations, and the struggle for civil rights," commented Tracy Bell in School Library Journal. Gillian Engberg stated in Booklist that "there are numerous biographies about Robinson available for young people, but none have this book's advantage of family intimacy."

[Image not available for copyright reasons]

Robinson turns to fiction in her middle-grade novels Safe at Home and Slam Dunk!, both of which feature sports themes. In Safe at Home ten-year-old Elijah Breeze moves with his recently widowed mom from their suburban home to Harlem, to live with his grandmother. Now the boy must deal with city culture in addition to his grief over his dad's death. A summer spent at neighborhood baseball camp crystallizes Elijah's feelings as well as his difficulty in finding his place in his new life. His ability to overcome the threats of a bullying campmate and develop the skills needed to make him a valuable team member ultimately symbolize the boy's emotional growth in a novel that a Publishers Weekly critic dubbed "a solid first novel about a likable 10-year-old who comes to terms with some big changes." In School Library Journal Jack Forman praised Safe at Home as a "quick-reading" story in which middle-grade readers will enjoy spending time with Robinson's "intriguing protagonists."

Elijah returns in Slam Dunk! A year older and now enrolled at Harlem's Langston Hughes Middle School, the boy is now nicknamed "Jumper" due to his skill on the basketball court. When the girl's basketball team beats the boys in a school exhibition game, Elijah's friend Nia—who organized the winning girls' team—decides to take her win on the court and use it to compete with Elijah in his bid for student-council representative. In Booklist Stephanie Zvirin praised Slam Dunk! as "an amiable story about friends who stay that way, a theme that translates well in any community." Robinson's well-paced novel is enriched by what a Kirkus Reviews writer described as "thoughtful moments where heartfelt revelations expertly transition to more complexities." As the critic concluded, Slam Dunk! "warrants a third installment" recounting Elijah's middle-school adventures.

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Robinson, Sharon, Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 1996, review of Stealing Home: An Intimate Family Portrait by the Daughter of Jackie Robinson, p. 1628; July, 2001, John Peters, review of Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By, p. 2004; February 15, 2004, Gillian Engberg, review of Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America, p. 1077; September 1, 2007, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Slam Dunk!, p. 136.

Book Report, September-October, 2001, Daniel R. Beach, review of Jackie's Nine, p. 72.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, January, 2007, Elizabeth Bush, review of Safe at Home, p. 74.

Emerge, October, 1996, review of Stealing Home, p. 73.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2004, review of Promises to Keep, p. 88; August 1, 2007, review of Slam Dunk!

Kliatt, September, 2007, KaaVonia Hinton, review of Slam Dunk!, p. 17.

Library Journal, June 15, 1996, review of Stealing Home, p. 72.

New York Times Book Review, November 3, 1996, review of Stealing Home, p. 18.

Publishers Weekly, May 14, 2001, review of Jackie's Nine, p. 84; February 9, 2004, review of Promises to Keep, p. 82; August 21, 2006, review of Safe at Home, p. 69.

School Library Journal, June, 2001, review of Jackie's Nine, p. 180; March, 2004, Tracy Bell, review of Promises to Keep, p. 242; October, 2006, review of Safe at Home, p. 168; November, 2007, Debbie Whitbeck, review of Slam Dunk!, p. 136.

ONLINE

BookPage.com,http://www.bookpage.com/ (June 11, 2005), "Sharon Robinson."

Scholastic Web site,http://content.scholastic.com/ (January 26, 2009), "Sharon Robinson."

Sharon Robinson Home Page,http://www.sharonrobinsonink.com (January 26, 2009).

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"Robinson, Sharon 1950-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Robinson, Sharon 1950-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/robinson-sharon-1950-0

Robinson, Sharon 1950–

Robinson, Sharon 1950

Personal

Born January 13, 1950, in New York, NY; daughter of Jackie (a baseball player) and Rachel (Isum) Robinson; married twice (both marriages ended); children: Jesse Simms. Education: Harvard University, B.S.; Columbia University, M.S. Hobbies and other interests: Sports, reading.

Addresses

Home Norwalk, CT. Agent Marie Brown, Marie Brown Associates, 625 Broadway, New York, NY 10012.

Career

Nurse midwife, 1975; writer. Yale University, New Haven, CT, assistant professor of nursing; also taught at Columbia University, Howard University, and Georgetown University. Jackie Robinson Foundation, member of board of directors. Appointed director of educational programming for major-league baseball.

Member

American College of Nurse-Midwives (member, board of directors).

Writings

Stealing Home: An Intimate Family Portrait by the Daughter of Jackie Robinson, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.

Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

Still the Storm, Genesis Press, Inc. (Columbus, MS), 2002.

Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America, Scholastic Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor to a women's health textbook; contributor of articles to Essence magazine and to professional journals.

Sidelights

Sharon Robinson was born in 1950 to a famous father: Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play major-league baseball. She recounts what it was like for her and her brothers to grow up in the public environment that came with their father's pioneering achievement in the world of sports in her 1996 book, Stealing Home: An Intimate Family Portrait by the Daughter of Jackie Robinson. As Robinson reveals, her father tried very hard to be a good family man, and to give time and attention to his children. Nevertheless, she and her brothers, Jackie, Jr. and David, felt the strain of having to share their dad with his many admiring fans. As an adult, Sharon became a nurse midwife, and survived two failed marriages. In addition to the details of her life and her family's life in Stealing Home, Robinson also includes a collection of family photographs that follow her father's career and his growing family. A Publishers Weekly critic responded favorably to the volume, predicting that Sharon Robinson's "loving biography" of her father "will add to his stature."

In Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By Robinson presents a collection of essays on nine inspiring character traits that shaped her while growing up under her father's tutelage, including: courage, determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment, and excellence. As Robinson notes, Jackie's Nine "presents values as principles by which to shape a life, rather than as mere buzz worlds." The text also describes the ways the elder Robinson attempted to embody those same values, prompting readers "to nurture those same values within their own lives," according to Daniel R. Beach in Book Report.

Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America provides readers with insight into the active role the baseball legend played in fueling the civil rights movement. Robinson chronicles her father's legendary career and the trials he faced while growing up and encountered later, in his celebrated career. "In captivating words and picture," the daughter includes telling glimpses into Robinson's life that reveal "information on the post-Civil War world, race relations, and the straggle for civil rights," commented Tracy Bell in School Library Journal. Gillian Engberg stated in Booklist that "there are numerous biographies about Robinson available for young people, but none have this book's advantage of family intimacy."

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Robinson, Sharon, Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 1996, p. 1628; July, 2001, John Peters, review of Jackie's Nine: Jackie Robinson's Values to Live By, p. 2004; February 15, 2004, Gillian Engberg, review of Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America, p. 1077.

Book Report, September-October, 2001, Daniel R. Beach, review of Jackie's Nine, p. 72.

Emerge, October, 1996, p. 73.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2004, p. 88.

Library Journal, June 15, 1996, p. 72.

Newsweek, February 9, 2004, Elise Soukup, review of Fast Chat: Humble Heroics p. 12.

New York Times Book Review, November 3, 1996, p. 18.

Publishers Weekly, May 13, 1996, p. 66; May 14, 2001, review of Jackie's Nine, p. 84; February 9, 2004, review of Promises to Keep, p. 82; March 1, 2004, review of Promises to Keep, p. 34.

School Library Journal, October, 1996, p. 166; June, 2001, review of Jackie's Nine, p. 180; March, 2004, Tracy Bell, review of Promises to Keep, p. 242; October, 2004, review of Promises to Keep, p. 32.

Sports Illustrated, July 8, 1996, p. 5.

ONLINE

BookPage.com, http://www.bookpage.com/ (June 11, 2005), "Sharon Robinson."

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"Robinson, Sharon 1950–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Robinson, Sharon 1950–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/robinson-sharon-1950

"Robinson, Sharon 1950–." Something About the Author. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/robinson-sharon-1950