|Stepping Up to the Plate(上)|
|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/06/01 11:31 空中美语|
As Jackie Robinson stepped up to bat in 1947, the crowd in Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field exploded. Fans shouted racist insults1 at Robinson, the first African-American in the twentieth century to break major league baseball’s “color line.” The catcher spat onto Robinson’s shoes, and the pitcher eyed him hatefully. The crowd laughed loudly when one fan, making fun of2 Robinson’s skin color, released a black cat onto the field. Robinson, however, controlled his temper as the hatred3 of white America raged4 around him.
Despite their military service in World War II, African-Americans like Robinson were regarded as second-class citizens in the 1940s. Targets of bitter racism, they were banned not only from5 professional sports, but also from many hotels and restaurants. Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey, however, was determined to integrate professional baseball. He needed a talented African-American player tough enough to tolerate the cruel abuse6 of fans and players. After meeting Jackie Robinson, Rickey knew he found his man.
当杰基·罗宾森在 1947 年踏上打击区时，布鲁克林艾伯兹球场里的观众爆出一阵喧哗。球迷叫喊出充满种族歧视的字眼辱骂罗宾森，他是20世纪首位打破职棒大联盟“肤色界限”的非洲裔美国人。捕手朝他的球鞋吐痰，投手则用憎恶的眼光瞪着他。当一名球迷为耻笑罗宾森的肤色而将一只黑猫放进球场时，全场观众哄堂大笑。然而，当美国白人社会的仇恨在他身旁肆无忌惮地蔓延时，罗宾森忍住了怒火。
尽管和杰基·罗宾森一样的非洲裔美国人曾在二次世界大战期间为国征战，但在 1940 年代却仍被视为次等公民。他们成为严重种族歧视下的箭靶，不但被禁止踏入职业运动的领域，还被拒于许多旅馆与餐厅的门外。然而，布鲁克林道奇队的老板布兰奇·瑞基决心要破除种族隔阂，整合职业棒坛。他需要一名球技精湛的非洲裔美籍球员，这个人要足够坚韧，能忍受球迷及其他球员残酷无情的凌辱。在与杰基·罗宾森会面之后，瑞基知道他已找到合适的人选了。
1.insult n. sth. one says to offend sb. 侮辱；羞辱
Calling Rena an idiot would be a real insult.
●2.make fun of sb./sth. v. phr. to make unkind jokes about sb./sth. 取笑；嘲弄
Because she is more than two meters tall, Lisa is used to people making fun of her height.
3.hatred n. extremely strong dislike for sb./sth. 憎恶；仇恨
He could see hatred in her eyes, but couldn’t figure out why she disliked him so much.
4.rage v. to continue fiercely 蔓延肆虐；猖獗
People fled the northern region where war was still raging.
●5.ban sb. from (doing) sth. v.phr. to officially state that sb. is not allowed to do sth. 禁止 … (做) …
Dean was banned from the grocery store after the store manager caught him stealing beer.
6.abuse n. offensive remarks or unjust treatment 辱骂；虐待
After putting up with her husband’s abuse for years, Agnes finally decided to divorce him.
1.racist adj. 有种族偏见的 (racist 当名词则指种族主义者；racism 为种族主义)
2.African-American n. 非洲裔美国人
3.(the) color line n. 肤色隔邸(指白人与有色人种在社会、法律、政治、经济等方面的差别地位)
4.white America n. 白人至上的美国社会
5.integrate v. 融合(此指去除种族差别待遇)
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