Local News

LA Dreamers: Our African-American Pioneers – Jesse Owens

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – We’re celebrating Black History Month by highlighting Southern California’s African-American Pioneers.

Jesse Owens is the first in what is now a long line of African-American track stars.

In the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, this LA Dreamer won gold medals in the 100, 200, 4×100 and long jump, and in the process completely debunked Adolph Hitler’s Nazi propaganda of racial supremacy.

Hitler would snub Owens and other winners, especially those of the Jewish faith.

But over 110,000 fans in Berlin’s Olympic stadium cheered enthusiastically for the 22-year-old from Alabama.

Jesse Owens died in 1980 at the age of 66 from lung cancer.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush awarded this LA Dreamer with the highest honor a civilian can receive… The Congressional Gold Medal.

To find out more about Jesse Owens and other L.A. Dreamers, the Los Angeles Urban League has a special free exhibit called “The 90 That Built L.A.”

For more information, go to http://www.laul.org.

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