#14 Jesse Owens

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#14
United States of America land of the free and home of the brave. A place where in the 20th century life was suppose to be the best of the best. Yet African americans were well known to get the bad end of the stick when it came to being successful in this country. Even though some were the symbol of success when a ‘colored’ broke the barrier in a white sport. It was the Jewish Americans who did a lot and yet were not allowed to participate in certain sports and considered unathletic and worthless. On the other end of the spectrum Latino Americans were consider illegal immigrants who just came over for lower waged jobs that Americans didn’t want. These three groups fought hard to prove their own and yet they still were never consider equal among white Americans. I’m arguing that during the 20th century in the United States, Jewish Americans, African Americans, and Latinos/Mexican Americans used professional and club sports to lift aspirations of their people and inspire the masses to overcome social discrimination. African Americans faced a brutal hardship of not being able to prove themselves during the 1930-70s. Once described as being only good for picking cotton and being slaves. Blacks had come a long way through times. The Negro League which produced some of the greatest black baseball players ever. Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Cool Papa Bell, and finally Jackie Robinson. These black baseball players set the bar high for black athletes across the country and world. #42 for the Brooklyn Dodgers did more for the black community than he ever thought was possible. Jackie’s “grandfather was raised in slavery” and he understood that, thats not what he wanted to do for his entire life. During his lavish career, the fans fell in love with him because they kept winning, but couldn’t get a house to live in. “But when he(Jackie Robinson) was in California, whites refused to sell him a house in their community. They loved his talent, but they didn’t want him for a neighbor” ( I never had it made) Baseball turned from an all white game, that businessmen went to during their lunch, to blacks coming in to watch Jackie play. As white players treated Jackie horribly, he turned his hatred into great baseball. “ He knew he had to do well. He knew the future of blacks in baseball depended on it. The pressure was enormous, overwhelming, and unbearable at times. I don’t know how he held up. I know i never could have.” Duke Snider Jackie started something he couldn’t turn away from, he once said in his autobiography “As I write these words now i cannot stand and sing the National Anthem. I have learned that i remain a black in a white world.” In this quote Jackie is expressing his opinion about his country. He goes out and performs to satisfy white audiences and yet at the end of the day he still black in the white world and will never be consider equal or better than them. Quitting wasn’t in his blood, nor was letting his fellow blacks down. For everything Jackie did, from being called racist degrading names to not being able to stay in the same hotel as his white teammates, or the constant danger he put his family in, Jackie did it for a greater cause. It was to prove to whites, to blacks in the negro league, to those who said it would always be a white mans game, that a black man could make one of the greatest barriers in history by playing the game of baseball. The Pressure that Jackie faced over his career as a baseball players was far more horrific and pressuring than that of one of the greatest black boxers of all time Joe Lewis. A young black man from the red clay of Lafayette, Alabama. Joe didn’t see witness racism growing up. He didn’t witness hearing the word “nigga” until he got to detroit in 1926. As Joe began to fight, his trainer and close friend, Jack Blackburn told Joe “The heavyweight division for a negro is hardly likely the white man ain’t too keen on it. You have to really be something to get somewhere, if you...
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