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D.C. high school students inspired by baseball legend Jackie Robinson in screening of ‘42’

Monday, July 15, 2013

D.C. high school students inspired by baseball legend Jackie Robinson in screening of ‘42’

For a group of D.C. high school students, baseball player Jackie Robinson had been a distant historical figure they knew little about.

But as they left a screening Friday of “42,” the new film about Robinson and his sometimes painful path to integrating baseball, they were inspired by lessons that apply to their lives today.

“People can say a lot of hateful things,” said Reneshia Gaskins, 17, an Anacostia High School junior. “But watching him and knowing what he went through was way worse than anything I’ve ever been through, so I know I can succeed, too.”

About 400 teenagers from 14 D.C. schools watched the film starring Howard University graduate Chadwick Boseman as the Dodgers second base player who broke the color barrier in the major leagues. After the screening, the students took part in a panel discussion with Nationals center fielder Denard Span, first base coach Tony Tarasco and general manager Mike Rizzo.

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