Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Library: Just acquired I Never Had It Made, Jackie Robinson's Autobiography

After doing a bit of research for a piece I wrote on Black achievers recently, I reflected on Jackie Robinson's entrance into major league baseball and the magnitude it had on sports and our American culture.

I was reminded, and also newly informed, about how courageous Jackie Robinson was off the field, advocating fairness and integration within major league sports and speaking out on behalf of social justice in various arenas.

I Never Had it Made 

While researching Robinson, I read a note about his autobiography, I Never Had It Made (1972). I knew of Arnold Rampersad's biography, which I have, in fact. However, I was not aware of Robinson's autobiography, and immediately I had to have it.

So, I am fortunate to have just acquired a clean and beautiful hardback copy of I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography as told to Alfred Duckett.

Can't wait to read it and report my impression.

There was another intriguing aspect to the Jackie Robinson autobiography that I've only had a few minutes to research, and that is "as told to Alfred Duckett." Is this Alfred Duckett also the poet, Alfred Duckett? The Alfred Duckett who wrote one of my favorite poems celebrating the Black master of music, Duke Ellington:

The Duke

Duke Ellington's music
almost came too soon.
A gaunt coyote
Keening the moon.
Mighty organ waters
rushing to the sky
and a great broad,
passing by.

Duke Ellington's music.
A noonday dream.
A secret joke.
Pure cream.

A train gone crazy
on a wide open track.
Bitter-strong coffee,
hot and black.

Is that a baaaad poem or what!!?! "Bitter-strong coffee/ hot and black"!
Oh, yes, I've got to find out about Alfred Duckett now.

Post edited on 4/15/2011.


  1. In your research did you find out how Jackie Robinson sold out Paul Robeson at the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

  2. I know that Jackie Robinson testified before the House Un-American Affairs committee. I'll have to look into any comments regarding Paul Robeson.