Testing the Ice: A True Story About Jackie Robinson

December 13, 2011 - May 6, 2012
Central Gallery

Testing the Ice by Sharon Robinson and illustrated by Kadir Nelson is a story about her father, baseball legend Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play major league baseball. The book is about an incident that happened after her father retired from baseball. There was a pond behind the house in Stamford Connecticut where the Robinson family moved in 1955. The children wanted to ice skate, and Jackie wanted to be sure the ice was thick enough. One of the very few things he couldn’t do was swim, but that didn’t deter him from making sure his children and their friends would be safe. He went out on the ice, knowing it could have dire consequences. 

“He was brave when he went out on the ice and he was brave when he went on the baseball field,” Nelson said. “My role is really like a documentarian and an author. I shed light on pieces of history that don’t always get as much attention as they deserve.” In an interview about the book, Nelson said, “You don’t want to say something that has already been said; you want to add something to the story.”