Michelle Obama calls new film on first black MLB player Jackie Robinson a must-see

Rachel Rose Hartman

First lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday praised "42," the biographical film about Jackie Robinson, the first black Major League Baseball player, and said she plans to make sure her daughters watch the film.

"We think that everybody in this country needs to watch this movie," Obama said at a White House student workshop about the movie, speaking for herself and husband President Barack Obama, the nation's first black president.

"And I can say with all sincerity that it was truly powerful for us," the first lady added. "I don’t know about you, but we walked away from that just visibly, physically moved by the experience of the movie, of the story."

Obama spoke to the guests—including Chadwick Bosemen, who played Robinson in the movie, Harrison Ford, who portrays Branch Rickey, who signed Robinson, and Robinson's widow, 90-year-Rachel Robinson—about the impact the film had on her personally.

She noted the discrimination encountered "at every turn, from the fans in the stadium to the airport receptionist, even from some of his own teammates."

The first lady said, "You’re left just asking yourselves, how on earth did they live through that? How did they do it? How did they endure the taunts and the bigotry for all of that time?"

She also told the students the movie serves as a lesson for people today. "It would have been easy for them to get mad, because I know I was mad just watching the movie," Obama said. "It would have been easy for them to get mad or to give up. But instead, they made hate—they met hatred with decency. I want you all to keep that in mind—they met hatred with decency. And, more importantly, they gave their absolute very best every single day—do you hear?—they gave their best every single day."