Jesse Owens Wasn’t Alone: New Film Explores Untold Story of the 17 Other Black Olympians of 1936

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tags: Olympics, Jesse Owens, Olympic Pride American Prejudice




Raise your hand if you knew that Jesse Owens wasn’t the only black athlete at the 1936 Olympics. Deborah Riley Draper is not ashamed to admit that there was a time she didn’t know, either. It’s precisely why she made her stunning documentary Olympic Pride, American Prejudice.

“My entire life I thought Jesse was there all alone and he didn’t have any companionship and he was on that boat by himself,” she explains. “But that wasn’t the case.”

There were 17 other black Olympians with Owens, many of whom won medals. Their names are Ralph Metcalfe (4×100-meter relay, gold; 100-meter dash, silver); Jackie Robinson’s older brother, Mack Robinson (200-meter dash, silver); Cornelius Johnson (high jump, gold); Dave Albritton (high jump, silver); James LuValle (400-meter run, bronze); John Woodruff (800-meter run, gold); Archie Williams (400-meter run, gold); Frederick “Fritz” Pollard Jr. (100-meter hurdles, bronze); John Brooks (broad jump); Jack Wilson (bantamweight boxing, silver); Art Oliver (heavyweight boxing); Howell King (heavyweight boxing); Willis Johnson (heavyweight boxing); James Clark Atkinson (middleweight boxing); John Terry (weightlifting); Tidye Pickett (women’s track and field); and Louise Stokes (women’s track and field). They hailed from various parts of the country, from Pasadena, Calif., to Chicago; from Massachusetts to North Dakota.




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