Jesse Cleveland Owens

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James Cleveland Owens otherwise known as “Jesse” was an Olympic long jumper and sprinter whose speed and inspirational defiance of Hitler shocked the world. The 1936 Olympics were held in Berlin and Adolf Hitler of the Nazi party believed that these Olympic Games would showcase the great skill of the Aryan (Caucasian) race, and the last person he would expect to show him up would be an African-American man (Barnes 1). With sixty-six U.S. Olympic contestants competing in the Games, the American race was really put on the spot in front of Hitler, the most powerful man in the world (Smith 1). Jesse Owens was one of these men, and while being laughed at by Hitler during his one hundred meter sprint against six other Caucasian sprinters, he won by a landslide. With that victory and his other three Olympic gold medals the Owens name was able to be remembered and looked up to for eternity. Jessie Owens is such a great athlete and individual because he defied Adolf Hitler, achieved more than expected of himself, and broke records with ease.
In the 1936 Olympic Games Hitler believed the world would be shown that Aryan is the dominant race. To Hitler’s surprise the US did very well and the key figure in the United States victory was an African American man, a race also hated and mocked by Hitler along with the American race. This man was Jesse Owens, a man with a rough childhood but a great desire for triumph and success as a long jumper and sprinter (Smith 1). To rub it in, as Owens crossed the finish line far ahead of the “superior” Aryans on his two-hundred meter race he stared into Hitler’s eyes with confidence (Smith 1). According to (Barnes 2), “Adolf Hitler was so upset by his achievements that he refused to congratulate him...

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...hrough immense poverty, segregation, and was undervalued by his peers. Jesse Owens was ridiculed by many in the Nazi party during the 1936 Olympics but he ignored their hateful looks and instead saw himself as an athlete and not an icon of the inferiority of his race and he was able to prove them wrong with outstanding track and field accomplishments. He is an inspirational symbol for the injustice of racial profiling and is a role model to athletes everywhere.

Works Cited
"Jesse Owens." Notable Sports Figures. Ed. Dana R. Barnes. Detroit: Gale, 2004. U.S. History in Context. Web. 4 Feb. 2014.
"Jesse Owens." Notable Black American Men, Book II. Ed. Jessie Carney Smith. Detroit: Gale, 1998. U.S. History in Context. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.
“Life of Jesse Owens.” African American Heroes. Ed. Marshall McCoy. Detroit: Gale, 2004. U.S. History in Context. Web. 6 Feb. 2014.
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