Jesse Owens Accomplishments

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Jesse Owens is a significant person to America because he defended the rights of African Americans to protest racism and injustice and admitted that equality had not dawned for most African Americans who suffered from limited job opportunities and ill health. James Cleveland Owens was born on September 12, 1913 in Oakland, Alabama. He was the 10th of 11 children to Henry and Emma Fitzgerald Owens. J.C. lived in extreme poverty, poor housing, inadequate food, and no extra money for medical care. Despite all this, his mother remained optimistic and convinced her husband to move to the North for better opportunities. In Cleveland, Ohio, things did get better. His father and 3 of his brothers worked in the steel mills. J.C. began school at Bolton Elementary. On his first day his teacher thought he said “Jesse” instead of “J.C.” when asked for his name (Moon, Fletcher 340). This mistake was not corrected and remained for a life time.…show more content…
Even though his coach continued working with him, he credited his father, country champion runner in Alabama, as his greatest early influence. His first achievement was as a student in East Technical High School on May 20, 1933. Owens broke the world record in the long jump and tied the world record in the 100-yard dash at the National Interscholastic Championship in Chicago. Some of his first unforgettable unfairnesses were when he was restricted to live on campus (Ohio State University), forbidden to eat in restaurants serving on campus, and not be able to shower or ride in the same vehicle with his white teammates. Having academic problems and receiving little help beyond opportunities to develop public speaking skills came as

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