Jesse Owens Essay Thesis

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A Lasting Impression "I wasn't invited to shake hands with Hitler, but i wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the president, either" ("Jesse Owens" 2). Through American history, many African Americans have suffered from racial discrimination and racism. James Cleveland Owens, better known as Jesse Owens, was no exception to this and through his core principles of hardwork and personal responsibility he was able to evoke change within a stubborn nation. Jesse Owens was a widely known olympic hero from the 1936 summer olympics that single handedly changed American history by helping close the racial gap within society, helping athletes receive more financial compensation for their work, and paving the way for future African …show more content…
Shortly after returning to America, fresh from his olympic triumph, Owens was offered many lucrative deals but none of them lasted due to the color of his skin. Even though America at the time had turned their back on Jesse, he would not do the same. He clung on to his virtuos morals of hardwork and personal responsibility which ultimately didnt help him, but helped future athletes receive more money. After the Berlin olympics, Jesse was forced to stop competitively racing after an argument erupted between him and the AAU. Owens was furious at the fact that they made obscene amounts of money off of his races, yet he could not even afford to buy a souvenir from his trips and be able to eat ("How Jesse Owens..." 2). Jesse once again hung tight to his morals listed above and refused to settle with the AAU. This generated yet another Owens' reform, this time in the world of sports, which would eventually lead to athletes getting more money for their work. As Owens continued on with his life, he was forced to take on many degrading racing events in order to make a living, but went on record stating, "People say it was degrading for an olympic athlete to run against a horse, but what was i supposed to do? I had four gold medals but you can't eat four gold medals" ("Jesse Owens"

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