First Lady Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Holds Screening and Discussion for 42

The first lady was moved by the upcoming Jackie Robinson biopic

First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama introduces the cast and crew of the movie "42", next to Rachel Robinson, widow of Jackie Robinson

Dozens of D.C.-area students were invited for a frank conversation about race Tuesday at the White House with Michelle Obama, Harrison Ford, and other members of the cast and crew of 42, the soon-to-be-released film about Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball.

"I know I was mad just watching the movie," the first lady told the 80 students assembled in the State Dining Room, as Robinson's widow Rachel, who is 90, sat behind her. "It would have been easy for them to get mad or to give up. But instead, they [met] hate—they met hatred with decency."

The first lady also said Rachel Robinson "paved the way for me."

"I mean, watching anyone go through what Jackie and Rachel Robinson did‑the outright discrimination they encountered at every turn… And you're left just asking yourselves, how on Earth did they live through that?" Obama said. "How did they endure the taunts and the bigotry for all of that time?"

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