The Stanley Cup’s visit on Sept. 15 was the obvious highlight of Homecoming Week at Leo High School, but it wasn’t the only noteworthy event. History, football and boxing were on the calendar as well.
On Sept. 16, the 63-year-old son of Jackie Robinson, David Robinson, visited Leo and spoke to the students about his African-American heritage.
Mr. Robinson was born in 1952, five years after his father broke Major League Baseball’s “color line,” becoming the first African-American to play big league ball for the then-Brooklyn Dodgers. David Robinson said he was aware of his father’s legacy throughout his life, and as he became an adult he decided he’d try to extend that legacy to their homeland in Africa.
He moved to Tanzania and went into business as a coffee grower and exporter, employing hundreds of Tanzanians who would otherwise live below the poverty line. Citing his father’s example as a racial pioneer, as well as his own as an entrepreneur, Mr. Robinson said those who achieve success have an obligation to assist their brothers and sisters who might not be as fortunate.
Mr. Robinson also called on Leo students to take the lead in combatting the street violence plaguing Chicago and other U.S. cities. He said the warring gang factions responsible for the violence are committing genocide against young urban males, rather than helping them find solutions to the social problems prevalent in the inner-city.
Leo’s students thanked Mr. Robinson for his time and interest and praised him as an engaging and effective speaker with a powerful message.