The Truth About Jackie Robinson’s Involvement In A Street Gang

After Jackie Robinson’s father left the family when he (Jackie) was a small boy, his mother took him and his siblings to Pasadena, California, to start over. Though the town was and is relatively affluent, Robinson and his family lived in poverty as his mother worked a series of odd jobs.

There was also another problem: The community was mostly white, save for Robinson and a handful of Asian and Latino kids. Those lads, like Robinson, found themselves excluded from organized sports and other activities available to white kids, and in response, they banded together and formed the Pepper Street Gang, according to the Georgia Historical Society.

The gang’s criminal activities were limited to relatively minor offenses like stealing fruit, vandalizing cars with dirt clumps, and stealing golf balls and selling them back to the golfers. Despite the borderline trivial nature of the gang’s crimes, life as an outlaw doesn’t bode well for a young boy who wants to get out of poverty, and a friend of his convinced him to put his life of crime behind him. The rest, as they say, is history.


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