Jesse Owens: Breaking the Color Barrier

Satisfactory Essays
Lennon once stated, “One thing you can’t hide is when you are crippled inside”−America presents itself as the hero of the world; however, when one looks closely they can see the crippled, black heart at her core. Racism was highlighted throughout the cold, hearted nation. According to the Ebony Magazine, the 1936 Olympics “would become a legend and would be passed on from generation to generation, growing and telling, the story of a sharecropper’s son and the grandson of slaves.” (“Jesse Owens” DISC Multicultural 1)
Jesse Owens, who was born in the southern state of Alabama, was a frail African American boy. Owens parents made the courageous decision when he was nine years old to move north in hopes to find a positive atmosphere for their family. Owens was never involved in sports because of his size, until his middle school coach recruited and trained him to be a member of the track team. Owens practiced until he got it right and made his way through multiple track events during his high school career.
Owens attended Ohio State University after graduating from high school and managed to balance between jobs. Having many responsibilities, Owens made time in his busy schedule for track. While attending Ohio State, Owens experienced many racial hardships because he was an African American. These circumstances “only served to motivate Owens even more” (“Jesse Owens” UXL 1)
In the year 1936, not just racial tension in America was spreading, but it was as if the world was diagnosed with a viral racial sickness. The Olympics were hosted that year in Berlin, Germany. Jesse Owen’s devotion to track finally paid off for him by being “one of the ten blacks selected to the sixty six member Olympic team.” (“Jesse Owens” UXL 1) The German...

... middle of paper ...

...rican’s highest civilian honor, the medal of freedom” (Holloway 2) and an abundant number of awards, leaving a legacy; never forgotten throughout history.

Works Cited

Holloway, David. “Owens, Jesse (1913-1980).” St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Ed. Sara Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Vol. 3. Detroit: St. James Press, 2000. 583-584. Student resources in context. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
“Jesse Owens.” DISCovering Multicultural America: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Student Resources in Context. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
“Jesse Owens.” DISCovering U.S. History. Detroit: Gale, 1997. Student Resources in Context. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
“Jesse Owens.” UXL Biographies. Detroit: U*X*L, 2003. Student Resources In Context. Web. 8 Nov. 2013.
Nuwer, Hank. The Legend of Jesse Owens. New York: F. Watts, 1998. Print.
Get Access