Hate. Hardship. And Hitler. Three obstacles Jesse Owens, an African-American track-and-field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist, had to overcome to achieve his life-long dream of becoming the greatest track and field athlete in American history. His journey is documented in the motion picture, “Race,” which focuses on Owens’ role in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where he came face-to-face with a Germany ruled by Adolf Hitler and Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy.
To honor the legacy and achievements of Owens during Black History Month, we partnered with Focus Features to host an exclusive advance screening of “Race” in Atlanta.
From the slums of Cleveland to his rise as an international superstar, Owens never let the color of his skin define who he was or stand in the way of his dreams. Through his choice to compete in the 1936 Olympic Games, he not only took home a victory but also chipped away at the barriers of racism – both in the United States and around the world. More than 250 guests, including representatives from Leadership Atlanta, The Joseph E. Lowery Institute, Georgia State University and more joined us for the “Race” screening and took part in a dynamic discussion following the film.
The discussion held after the screening was led by GP Foundation President Curley Dossman and centered on the courage and determination exemplified by one individual, and the cultural changes that have taken place in sports and society since this landmark event 80 years ago. Representatives lending their thoughts included Al Vivian, President & CEO of Basic Diversity Inc., Scott Pederson, President & CEO of Positive Athlete and GP’s Scott Brown, Director of Youth Entrepreneurs, Georgia.
In addition to the successful turnout at the advance screening, the film opened in more than 2,000 movie theaters across the U.S. and features Stephan James as Jesse Owens, Jason Sudeikis and Jeremy Irons. To learn more about Owens’ journey and impact, see the “Race” movie trailer here.