Jesse Owens: Blackthink: My Life as Black Man and White Man

(1970)

About the Author

Jesse Owens, born on September 12, 1913, was the last of ten surviving children of a sharecropper family in Oakville, Alabama. Like most African American sharecroppers in the South at this time, the family struggled to make a living and was exploited by their white landlord. An added concern for Owens’s parents was that he was a sickly child who came close to death on a number of occasions. Seeking to escape from poverty and to find more healthy living conditions for Jesse, the family moved north to Cleveland in the early 1920s. In doing so they became part of what...

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Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics (Library of Congress)

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