The Unknown 17
February 24, 2016 10:31 PM   Subscribe

Jesse Owens usually gets all the attention when people talk about the 1936 Summer Olympic Games, but the documentary Olympic Pride, American Prejudice looks at the other black athletes who traveled with Owens to Hitler’s Berlin 80 years ago, including Jackie Robinson’s big brother Mack, and Tidye Ann Pickett-Phillips, first black American woman to compete in the Olympics.
posted by LeLiLo (7 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
In fairness, one afternoon Jesse Owens broke three world records and tied a fourth. It took him 45 minutes.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:17 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


"'After all those stories about Hitler and his snub, I came back to my native country and I couldn't ride in the front of the bus,' Owens recalled. 'I had to go to the back door. I couldn't live where I wanted. Now what's the difference?'

Owens was given a tickertape parade in New York. But when he arrived at the Waldorf Astoria hotel for a reception in his honour, he was instructed to take the service lift rather than the normal guest lift, which was reserved for whites.

President Franklin Roosevelt never congratulated Owens or invited him to the White House. 'Hitler didn't snub me - it was FDR who snubbed me,' Owens said. "

posted by GallonOfAlan at 5:44 AM on February 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Thanks so much for this -- I teach my students about how Owens's victories influenced the change in the (white) American mind, that African Americans were no longer seen as physically AND mentally inferior, likely to die out, but rather had all of this brute strength...

Honoring all of these athletes is the least I can do.
posted by allthinky at 5:48 AM on February 25, 2016


The only job Mack Robinson was able to get after the 1936 Olympics was as a street sweeper in his hometown of Pasadena. He would work while wearing his USA jacket and (occasionally) his silver medal.

He lost his job when the city was ordered to de-segregate the schools: they fired all their black employees in retaliation.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 7:01 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


Good, good, good that this documentary exists! Will search the sofa cushions for something to give them. As for the new Hollywood picture about Mr. Owens, of course, I'm not going to see it, because I'm so effing tired of the same old thing.

Serous spoiler alerts.
posted by droplet at 10:17 AM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


The only job Mack Robinson was able to get after the 1936 Olympics was as a street sweeper in his hometown of Pasadena. He would work while wearing his USA jacket and (occasionally) his silver medal.

He lost his job when the city was ordered to de-segregate the schools: they fired all their black employees in retaliation.


Jesus wept. We have so much to atone for.
posted by sobell at 12:58 PM on February 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


'Hitler didn't snub me - it was FDR who snubbed me,' Owens said. "

There was a post about ace pilot Eric "Winkle" Brown on here t'other day. In the linked documentary Brown said he personally witnessed Hitler congratulating Owens.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 4:42 PM on February 25, 2016


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