Grosset and Dunlap (2015), Edition: Dgs, 106 pages. (Mar 2018). Paperback. $5.99.
Describes the life of the sharecroppers' son who became an Olympic legend and challenged Hitler's dream of Aryan superiority.
106 p.; 5.38 inches
0448483076 / 9780448483078
LibraryThing member Othemts
Jesse Owens is well-known as a legendary track and field star who was a pioneer for black athletes, attending Ohio State University, going to the Olympics, and winning four gold medals. Much is made of Owens being a black man demonstrating his prowess in front of Hitler and the Nazis, but this book also points out that German fans cheered for him and a German athletes befriended him. There's also a unsettling moment when it appears that the US Olympic Team may have made Owens run a relay in place of a Jewish runner. Celebrated at home, Owens also received jeers from prejudiced whites and from more radical blacks who thought he should not have gone to Nazi Germany. Later in life, Owens criticizes the Civil Rights movement but later has a changed of heart. All in all this is a story of remarkable and complex man, and I appreciate that this children's biography worked through the many layers of nuance.
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