David Robinson, Son of Baseball Legend Jackie Robinson, Visits Minnesota to Promote Books For Africa

David Robinson, the son of baseball icon Jackie Robinson, traveled from his home on a coffee cooperative in Tanzania to visit Minnesota September 22-24 to talk about his work with Books For Africa.

Robinson, who has lived in Tanzania for more than 30 years, participated earlier this year in a walk across Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, led by BFA Founder Tom Warth to raise money, deliver books and help end the book famine in Africa.

After the Zanzibar Book Walk, Robinson, the baseball legend’s youngest child, distributed 5,000 books to six schools near his coffee cooperative, where the more than 200 members of the cooperative live and work. 

Robinson came to the Twin Cities as a BFA volunteer to raise money for and interest in sending books to students in rural Tanzania. On Sept. 22 he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Minnesota Twins game.  In honor of David’s appearance, the Twins declared the 22nd “Books For Africa Night” at Target Field.

Robinson also met with officials at Thomson Reuters in Eagan, a major sponsor for Books For Africa, and attended a fundraising reception at the Minneapolis home of former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco Sam Kaplan and his wife Sylvia. 

On Saturday he served as the Grand Marshal at the Children’s Book Walk in St. Paul and was the guest of honor BFA’s Annual warehouse party.  

Robinson also met with local coffee roasters and distributors. He directs a cooperative of 200 small coffee farmers which sells coffee in the U.S. He has also been instrumental in building the Bara Village Multimedia Education, Training and Entertainment Center. It is an educational center for over 2,000 primary and secondary students and training center for farmers, women's groups and youth organizations. Major League baseball has donated the film projector for the 150-seat theater in the center, where feature films and cartoons will be shown for adults and kids. 

Robinson described why he was honored to be able to visit Minnesota on behalf of Books For Africa: "Development requires education,” he said. “If you can put a book in the hands of a child now, in a short time that child is going to become a leader of something: his family, his coop, his village. And in a short time you've taken the potential, the capacity and enhanced it to the level that it has to be if we're going to become global citizens."

David’s visit generated a great deal of local media interest, including feature articles from the Pioneer Press, MinnPost, and Mshale.  He also took time to speak with Fox Sports North during the Twins game, and made an appearance on All Things Considered on Minnesota Public Radio.

For more information about David Robinson, see this video Spike Lee did for ESPN: 

Thank you to our sponsors for these great events!

Thomson Reuters
Robins Kaplan, LLC
The Minnesota Twins
Amara Wines
BMO Harris Bank
Stokes Trucking
U.S. Trust
Vector Global Logistics 
Bank of America
Afro Deli
Kalahari Foods
Snowbound Books