In a scene in "42," Jackie Robinson gazes at his newborn son in a hospital ward and vows never to be like his father.
"My daddy left us flat in Cairo, Georgia. I was only six months older than you are now."
That's the only mention of Cairo in the newly released biopic about the man who broke baseball's color barrier, but the movie resonates in this small southwest Georgia city that has had a complicated relationship with its famous native son.
The movie, many in Cairo hope, will shine a new light on the city and help bring Robinson the kind of recognition he deserved here long ago.
In the film, Robinson -- played by Chadwick Boseman -- pronounced the city like Cairo, Egypt, the Georgia city's namesake. Only here, folks don't say it like that. It's KAY-row.
Most here seem willing to forgive that Hollywood faux-pas since Robinson himself might have mispronounced it. After all, he was only a toddler when he left Cairo for good.
After his father, Jerry, abandoned the family, his mother, Mallie, found herself doing the work of two people on the Sasser Plantation. A short while later, Mallie boarded the Number 58 train with her five children and moved across the continent to be closer to her brother in Pasadena, California -- an act of enormous courage for a black woman in the early 1920s.
Robinson, the son of sharecroppers and grandson of slaves, never walked the streets of Cairo. Not like Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards, who shot hoops on the courts at Holder Park.
It's one reason, say some residents, that the city has struggled to embrace Robinson.
Others suspect race had a lot to do with it. This was the Deep South, and Cairo was not unlike other places that struggled to reconcile with the past -- one that was so ugly that Robinson probably never would have made a career in baseball had he grown up here.
Had he stayed, he might have ended up a sharecropper himself. Instead, he grew up in a world far away from Jim Crow, attending integrated schools in California and becoming a star athlete at UCLA.
Schools weren't integrated in Cairo until 1970. When there was a proposal to rename Second Avenue in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., there was push-back, recalls attorney Tom Lehman, 67, who moved here four decades ago from Ohio.
The local newspaper, The Cairo Messenger, recognized Robinson on the 30th anniversary of his entry into the major leagues in a short story that reminded readers he was born in Cairo. But other than that, the memory of Jackie Robinson wore thin.
For decades, there were no monuments or placards or anything, really, that signaled the city was the birthplace of an extraordinary man. You could drive through town without knowing Robinson was ever here.
A woman on a mission
Linda Walden wanted to fix that.
She grew up in Queens, New York, and Sebring, Florida, but after she finished medical school at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, she moved south to Cairo.
It's a city best known as once being the capital of cane syrup production. The high school mascot is a syrupmaker.
Walden's roots were here; her father's family owned land nestled along tree-lined country roads.
She arrived in 1996, one year before the 50th anniversary of Robinson's feat. Jackie was family.
Walden's aunt had married Jackie's brother, Mack Robinson, who'd also made his mark in the world of sports. He won a silver medal in the 200-meter dash in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, but was overshadowed by Jesse Owens and later by his own pioneering brother.
It felt right for Walden to settle in Cairo, though it was a shock.
"It was like going back 30 years in time," she said.
When she opened her medical practice in a shopping center on MLK Jr. Avenue, she became the first woman and the first African-American to do so. Even today, she's still the only full-time black doctor in the area.
"I had to remind some of my patients that it was not Miss Linda but Dr. Walden," she said.