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Biography Of Jesse Owens

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As a son of a sharecropper and grandson of a slave, Jesse Owens created History in 1936 when he achieved what no athlete had done before: four Olympic Gold Medals. (jesseowens.com). During this era, the United States had limited civil rights and was approaching a World War with Hitler rising into power in Germany. Although Owens was victorious on the track, because of the color of his skin, He was looked down upon and unrecognized by even his own country. Through the excessive racism, one may ask how Owens moved forward and dealt with such negativity in a situation that should have been celebrated.
Henry and Emma Alexander Owens gave birth to James Cleveland Owens on September 12, 1913 in Alabama (www.jesseowens.com). At the age of nine, the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio for better opportunities as a part of the Great Migration. Owens went by J.C. for short however while taking roll in Ohio, a schoolteacher misunderstood Owens when he said “J.C.” and grasped the name “Jesse” as a result of his strong southern accent. From this day on, Owens went by the name Jesse.
As a young male, Owens worked in groceries, loaded freight cars, and even worked in a shoe repair shop. (www.anb.org). During this time period, Jesse Owens realized he had a passion for running. He was encouraged mainly by his Junior High Track coach, Charles Riley. Riley started a rigorous training program for Owens in morning sessions before school because Owens worked. Within a year, Owens was running the 100-yard dash in eleven seconds and in 1928 he set two world records for his age group in the high jump, at six feet, and the long jump, at twenty-two feet, eleven and three-quarters inches (jesse-owens.org). However Owens did not come to full attention until High...

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...ward for inspiring others "to reach for greatness." Despite all the awards Owens received, that following year on March 31st, 1980 Jesse Owens passed away due to lung cancer.
It is evident that Jesse Owens proved to the world what no one at the time believed could be achieved. At a time when Blacks were not equal, there was no appreciation possible in the eyes of the Americans until the civil rights movement following after the cold war. Jesse Owens dealt with much more than any African American could ever imagine. Regardless of his immense achievements, Owens did not receive recognition for such important winnings until several years after the 1936 Olympics. Despite the hate that Owens received, he was able to surpass such negativity by being involved in other organizations and through this, Owens was victorious not only on the track but also as normal human being.
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