The next time you think your voice doesn't count, look back on this telegram from Jackie Robinson.

Jackie Robinson was an amazing baseball player with serious conviction.

Image by Bob Sandberg/Library of Congress.



He had the same level of conviction in his demand for real, substantive legislation about civil rights.

He was the first black player, EVER, in baseball's major leagues in America — he would know.

Real change doesn't happen all at once. But we get there faster when voters speak up and say they expect more from our elected leaders.

Take the slow path of civil rights in America. Voters like Robinson helped push for real equality when he sent this telegram to The White House and President Eisenhower in 1957:

Image via National Archives.

In the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling stating that segregated schools were not cutting it, the 1957 Civil Rights Act began taking shape under Eisenhower.

Eisenhower signed the half-loafy 1957 bill, but that was just the beginning of a nation setting itself up to specifically make rights more available to everyone (and to make denying people those rights subject to some real penalties).

The 1957 act was the first civil rights legislation passed since the mid-1800s, but it was was mostly lip service; it didn't do enough to tackle the huge problem of racism and prejudice in America.

There's no doubt about it, Robinson was hardcore. He did not sleep on the quest for equality.

You gotta admire athletes and people in the public eye who stick their neck out and use their public voice for equality!

And the fact is, they did have to wait a little bit longer. In 1960, another civil rights act passed. Then again in 1964, another civil rights act. We're talking two separate presidents to get America at least starting to get in front of that whole racism thing. And we're still working.

Robinson may not have gotten what he wanted right off the bat, but demanding more and not giving up hope was vital to keep the momentum going and build real change.

Bit by bit, we're building a more equal country.


Think of marriage equality. We weren't getting all wins in the court system over the years, but each fight helped to change public opinion until polls started showing that the majority of Americans believed in marriage equality.

And then, finally, that beautiful Supreme Court ruling in June 2015. Yay! Conviction and equality win, and so does love.

Home run.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
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