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jesse-owens“There is no Black and White; only fast and slow…”

On February 15th, The Ohio State University held a media press conference for the pre-screening of the anticipated movie, RACE, starring Stephan James (Selma) who was also in attendance with his two daughters. The film tells the story of the legendary track star and Olympic Gold Medalist, Jesse Owens. The film documents Owens’ journey from small town Cleveland, OH to his first steps on The Ohio State University’s soil, then onto his triumphant wins of four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. RACE comes at a time when racial tension is still high amongst Americans as well as the world.


“Where are the colored dorms?” “There aren’t any colored dorms.”

RACE takes viewers through the mind of a young Jesse Owens who had to leave his family behind to follow his track dreams. Whether it was being harassed by the football team for being black or worrying about home finances, Owens’ coach always encouraged him to stay focused. Lacking understanding and openness, the film shows viewers the many tensions between track star and track coach as well. Jason Sudekis (SNL) plays the track coach who guided Jesse and encouraged him to compete in the 1936 Olympics.

During his time at OSU Owens was not permitted to live in the dorms, and RACE does an impeccable job of capturing the emotions as well as the frustrations of being black at a predominantly white institution and at the 1936 Olympics.The film gives moviegoers an inside look on the political climate of the time and when Owens won four medals at the Olympics, neither Chancellor nor Hitler congratulated him. Hitler, whom at the time occupied Germany under Nazi rule, didn’t want Jews or African-Americans competing in the Olympics in an attempt to showcase the believed superiority of the Aryan race. Even Franklin D. Roosevelt never acknowledged Jesse Owens’ Olympic wins.


“Do you think he’d allow himself to be photographed shaking hands with THAT?”

Jesse Owens was a track and field legend as well as a philanthropist. RACE depicts his journey to college and to the 1936 Olympics but shows the progress from a timid small-town athlete to a confident Olympic Gold Medalist. Ordered to go through the back door at an event honoring him, Jesse Owens didn’t let the color of his skin hold him back from what he believed or fought for.

“…and for those ten seconds, I’m free.”


About Author

Growing up on the south side of Columbus, it wasn't until middle school until I was introduced to and found my love for hip-hop and entertainment. I am a graduate of The Ohio State University where I majored in Communications with a minor in Media Production and Analysis. My love for writing was reawakened during my last semester of college when I enrolled in a magazine writing course finding that my area of interest is writing feature articles. I'm working on building my own blog that will focus on musicians and artists who are going after their dreams against all odds. A main focus of mine is highlighting and bringing awareness to local entertainment and showcasing what the city has to offer whether it is an artist, an event or a business. "Though she be but little, she is fierce"- William Shakespeare

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