Jesse Owens: American Experience-Tues., May 1 at 8p on WOSU TV

To tell the story of Jesse Owens’ remarkable victories in the face of Nazi racism, this film begins in the poor Cleveland neighborhood where the young athlete grew up; details his early career; describes Adolf Hitler’s outsized ambitions for the 1936 Olympics; explores the movement in Western democracies to boycott the event; and explains the pressures on Owens to attend. The film also reveals the unlikely relationship Owens struck up at the games with his German rival Carl “Luz” Long and shows that, in the end, despite his success in Germany, Owens struggled to find a place for himself in a United States that was still wrestling to overcome its own deeply entrenched racism.

 

 

 

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