Olympic Pride, American Prejudice: The Untold Story of 18 African Americans Who Defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to Compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics

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The 1936 Summer Olympics have gone down in popular lore for when athletic powerhouse Jesse Owens bested the world. Coverage of Owens’ four Gold medals overshadowed the accomplishments of his fellow African American teammates. The US Olympic team competing in Berlin consisted of eighteen African Americans. Their climb to the summit of amateur competition varied in background, education, triumphs and travails. The Jim Crow racism that held an iron grip on the deep South led to the relocation of families, however, discrimination still reared its ugly head up north and out west. Overcoming of these obstacles steeled the athletes’ resolve in competition. Men such as Ralph Metcalfe, Mack Robinson, James Luvalle, and women such as Tidye Pickett and Louise Stokes, competed at superior levels. The talents developed and races won by the individuals are paralleled by the march to infamy of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. The two unlikely groups soon met up in Berlin, where Hitler had assumed superiority, but he was destined for the surprise of a lifetime.

Olympic Pride, American Prejudice is a poignant account of strength despite adversity. The paths to the Olympic games are relayed to the reader in a fine fashion, each athlete’s journey building interest by chapter. The tension of the times is tangible, the reader gripped with nervous anticipations for every result. This is a history/sports book that is engrossing and powerful.


Reviewed By:

Author Deborah Riley Draper and Travis Thrasher
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 400 pages
Publisher Atria Books
Publish Date 2020-02-04
ISBN 9781501162152
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2020
Category History
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