Jesse owens face.jpg

Jesse OwensThe Fastest Man Of the 1930s

By: Eleftherios Mendrinos, Ryan Comeau, and Trevor Hardee

Introduction: By Lefty
American track star Jesse Owens became “the hero of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin by scoring a moral victory for African Americans” (“Jesse Owens” paragraph 1). Owens received four Olympic gold medals during the Berlin Olympics. By accomplishing this, hebecame very triumphant. Therefore, Jesse Owens influenced the 1930s by showing the world including Adolph Hitler that African Americans can be successful in the Olympics,and By doing this, he broke many false stereotypes. that african americans are an inferior race.

Background Information: Lefty

Jesse Owens had a very interesting childhood. He was one of many children in his family, who against the odds of his poverty level worked with dedication to excel financially and academically. Jesse Owens was born in “Oakville, Alabama on September 12, 1913” (Gigliot 1). Jesse was “one of the seven children” in his family (Marsh 14). As a teenager, Owens “did odd jobs to make money” for example; Jesse scrubbed floors and worked in a shoe shop to collect income (Marsh 14). Also, Owens had many career and academic accomplishments. Owens acquired his education after “receiving a scholarship from Ohio State University” (Marsh 14). Jesse’s major career accomplishment occurred when he “was a member of the 1936 U.S Olympic team” due to the fact that he won four Olympic gold medals (“Jesse Owens” paragraph 5).

Jesse owens starting.jpg
Jesse Owens in starting position

Connection to H&S Education By: Ryan Comeau
The life of Jesse Owens is a perfect example of the importance of Health and Social Education. It provides a great example of how a person can change over the course of a lifetime. His life also shows how decisions can impact others, and how others look at you(reputation). For example, after his athletic career, Jesse Owens made the decision to be a positive influence in society using something other than sports. He would eventually end up being a motivational speaker, educator, philanthropist, businessman, and even a U.S. Goodwill Ambassador. Jesse Owens was known as a terrible academic student while at Ohio State, and he was often ineligible to run track due to poor grades. He got the reputation for just being a “dumb jock”(Essay Task paragraph 1). After serving in these other professions, and dedicating himself to education, Owens earned the reputation of being a captivating speaker because “as a speaker he could make the world listen and through his living example he held out hope to millions of young people”(Jesse Owens Foundation paragraph 1). He helped many kids learn the values of competition, sportsmanship, and having a positive attitude. Due to this change in Owens’ academic reputation and his goodwill and charitable acts, Owens was awarded an honorary doctorates degree from The Ohio State University. Jesse Owens changed his reputation from being a ‘dumb jock’ tobeing a passionate and intelligent influence on young people, all by the decisions that he made.

Connection to History By: Ryan Comeau

Jesse Owens is, of course, best known for proving to Hitler on the world stage that Aryans are not racially superior. The fact that he was African American also showed Hitler and the world that African Americans are not inferior. He was not the only African American athlete to defeat one of Hitler's Aryan showcase athletes. In 1936, Hitler sent German boxer Max Schmeling, a tall, blonde haired,blue eyed Aryan, to fight Joe Louis in U.S.A. Joe Louis was an African American boxer. They fought twice. Max Schmelling defeated Louis in New York City on June 19, 1936. Americans were devastated that they had let Hitler have the satisfaction that his German defeated an American. In 1938, the world watched as a rematch took place in Yankees Stadium. Americans eagerly tuned in on their radios to hear. This time, the good guy won. Joe Louis defeated Max Schmelling, and he reclaimed the title of Heavyweight Champion. More importantly, Joe Louis reminded Americans that we are still the greatest country on Earth, and that we can compete with the Germans and the rest of the world. Among the most proud were the African American population, as they felt that they had been represented with pride. Joe Louis and Jesse Owens both showed Hitler and the world that Aryans are not superior, and that blacks are not inferior. They also both brought out American pride, and especially in the black community. They will both forever be known as American heroes.
To learn more about Joe Louis, take a look at these links:
Joe Louis

Jesse Owens running.jpg

Connection to IB Learner Profile Trait By: Trevor Hardee

The IB learner profile traits aim to give students a set of "ideals that can inspire, motivate and focus the work of schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose" ("IB Learner Profile" Paragraph 2). There are 10 of these traits, and they are aimed towards giving students those 21st century learning skills.

Jesse Owens being African American, made it much harder for him to succeed in his profession. Jesse Owens was an incredible human being who showed courage in standing up for his people. Jesse Owens was a risk-taker. Owens life was far from easy. At that time African Americans still did not have a true place in society. Sadly, many people were still very racist towards African Americans, Jesse Owens even after making the team still had to stay in different hotels as the rest of the team (Burlingome 44). From the beginning, Jesse knew that his chances of becoming and olympic legend were slim, but he persevered. As Atticus said in To Kill a Mockingbird, "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what" (Harper Lee 112). This is very similar to Jesse Owens. His whole life of training could have been for nothing, but he took a risk and it paid off. He won gold in the 1936 Berlin olympics, proving that African Americans are not an inferior race.

Works Cited By: Trevor Hardee

Benson, Lee, Doug Robinson, and Dee Benson. Athens to Atlanta:100 Years of Glory.
Salt Lake City, UT: Commemorative Publications,1993.Print.

A+E Networks. "Jesse Owens Biography." A&E Networks Television, 2013. Web. 19 May 2013.

Anastopoulo, Rossi. "Meet... Jesse Owens." Sports in Black and White. Sports in Black and White, 2013. Web. 19 May 2013.

Burlingame, Jeff. Jesse Owens: “I Always Loved Running.” Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 2011. Print.

Drobik, Michelle. "Jesse Owens: Growing Up." The Ohio State University. The Ohio University State Archives, 2010. Web. 19 May 2013.

Gigliotti, Jim. Jesse Owens: Gold Medal Hero. New York: Sterling, 2010. Print.

Greer, Kenny. “Jesse Owens/Home”. The Ohio State Archives, inc., 2010. Web. 15 Apr.2013.

Litsky, Frank. “Jesse Owens Dies of Cancer at 66: Hero of the ’36 Olympic games”.

The New York Times. The New York Times, 2010. Web. 15 Apr.2013.

“Jesse Owens.” Jesse Owens. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in context.

Marsh, Carole S. The Best Book of Black Biographies. Gallopade Pub Group, 1991. Print.

Owens, Jesse, and Paul Neimarck. Jesse, the Man who Outran Hitler.
New York: Fawcett Gold Medal, 1978. Print.

Owens, Ruth. “Bibliography.” Luminary Group, 2009. Web.15 Apr. 2013.

Press, Assosciated. Pursuit of Excellence, the Olympic Story.
Danbury, CT: Grolier Enterprises, 1983. Print.

Streissguth, Tom. Jesse Owens. Minneapolis, MN: Learner Publishing, 1999. Print.