The Georgia Historical Society, in collaboration with Major League Baseball and the Jackie Robinson Cairo Memorial Institute, has dedicated two historical markers at the birthplace of baseball’s first Black man to play in the Major Leagues.
After the original memorial was vandalized by gunfire last year in Georgia, the marker at Robinson’s birthplace (located at County Route 154 in Cairo) was replaced and a new, duplicate historical marker is now located at the Roddenbery Memorial Library in downtown Cairo.
“We are grateful for the Georgia Historical Society and their efforts to preserve the birthplace marker of Jackie Robinson in Cairo,” Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a written statement. “We hope this historic monument will continue to serve as an example of a life filled with courage and strength for generations of young people.”
Major League Baseball gifted $40,000 to the Georgia Historical Society allowing the organization to replace the damaged marker at the birthplace of Robinson. The funds also gave the society the opportunity to create an endowment fund that has been named in his memory.
To add to the legacy of Robinson, the damaged original marker will be on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
Raymond Doswell (VP and curator of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum) stated, “The Georgia Historical Society reached out to [NLBM] asking if we would be willing to showcase the damaged marker as an educational tool and teach people not only about Jackie Robinson but hopefully an educational tool that could help mend the gaps of hate that are in our country. We accepted.”
Last summer, Hess Corporation announced that it was giving a $1.4 million grant to the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) as part of the company’s longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The grant will include $1 million to support the new Jackie Robinson Museum that is presently being built in New York City. The museum will serve as a venue to provide innovative educational programming and dialogue on critical social issues. The rest of the remaining $400,000 from the Hess Corporation will go toward providing four-year scholarships and support services as part of the JRF Scholarship Program, to five underrepresented college students. The scholarship program is typically awarded to outstanding high school graduates who plan to earn a baccalaureate degree from an accredited, four-year college or university.