Olympic Pride, American Prejudice”: How 18 Black Olympians Defied Jim Crow & Hitler in 1936 / Democracy Now

1936 olympics.jpgreIn Brazil, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team has pulled off a historic feat, winning the team gold medal by the widest margin of victory since 1960. The five-member gymnastics team is the most diverse the U.S. has ever sent to the Olympics. Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas are African-American. New Jersey-born Lauren Hernandez is of Puerto Rican descent. Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman are white. But Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and Lauren Hernandez are far from the first American Olympians of color to make history. Today we look at a new documentary that looks at the 17 African-American athletes who, along with noted track and fielder Jesse Owens, defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to participate in the 1936 Olympics held in Nazi Germany. Since then, the story of Owens’s four gold medals has dominated the narrative of African-American achievement in the ’36 Games. We speak with Deborah Riley Draper, writer and director of “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice.”

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