First lady Michelle Obama paid tribute to baseball legend Jackie Robinson today as she hailed the new movie “42,” which chronicles his career and the racial discrimination he endured.
Obama said she and the president were “visibly, physically moved” by the “wonderful” movie and the Robinsons’ story. It was a “truly powerful” experience, she said.
“You’re left just asking yourselves, how on earth did they live through that? How did they do it? How did they endure the taunts and the bigotry for all of that time?” she said.
The first lady’s comments came at a White House workshop for high school and college students. After screening the movie, the students were able to question Robinson’s widow, Rachel, and members of the cast, including Chadwick Boseman, who plays Robinson in the film, and Harrison Ford, who plays Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey.
“Jackie and Rachel Robinson’s story reminds us how much hard work it takes to move a country forward. It reminds us how much struggle is required to make real progress and change,” the first lady said. “But it also reminds us how far we have to go, how much more work we have to do.”
The president will host a private screening this evening for cast and crew members at the White House. The movie opens in theaters nationwide April 12.