Sharon Robinson is a chip off the old block.
You can almost peer into her soul and see the essence of her famous father. And if her dad were alive, he would be quite proud of her accomplishments.
Sharon Robinson is the daughter of major-league baseball barrier-breaker Jackie Robinson. And she has become quite the writer. She recently completed her seventh book.
She appeared this month at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
"Testing The Ice — A True Story About Jackie Robinson" was released in October. She details her father's courage — from breaking the color barrier in major-league baseball to him fearlessly testing the ice on the lake near their home. Jackie Robinson didn't swim.
Jackie Robinson moved his family to Connecticut after the 1955 World Series win with the Brooklyn Dodgers. During their first winter, the lake on their property froze over.
One day the Robinson children asked their father if they could go skating. Yes, but only under his supervision. Robinson bravely inched his way to the middle of the lake, where he tapped it with a stick before declaring it safe. That's where the concept for the book came from.
"That's where the dramatic part of the book is," Sharon Robinson said. "He's testing the ice literally and then metaphorically breaking the color barrier."
The book includes illustrations by award-wining artist Kadir Nelson.
"I knew Kadir's art would be dramatic, realistic and powerful," Robinson said. "They exceeded my expectations."
Robinson wants people to take away a sense for her father's consistency.
"He was committed both at home as well as to his work," Robinson said. "He worked hard at baseball and for the civil rights movement. I hope people take away that it's OK to step out from your boundaries and test the ice. Take a risk as long as it's measured and discover something new about yourself and the world."
Robinson wasn't aware as a child of the intense bigotry that her father faced until she watched "The Jackie Robinson Story," a movie released in 1950 in which her father played himself.
Robinson's fondest memory of her father was when he visited her while she was in college at Howard University in Washington. Robinson died at 53 on Oct. 24, 1972. She graduated from Howard one year later with a degree in nursing.
"We just got to spend time together and have dinner," Robinson said. "He got to see me blossoming."