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African American History Month: A portal into the culture, struggle, and achievements

In January our window displays focused on African American history and Martin Luther King Day. We highlighted the books and videos in our collection.  As we move through Black History Month, we’d like to offer you a web site that provides a portal into African American history. The site connects you with videos, audio interviews, images, and music to pay tribute to the “generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.”

In the video below, we learn about the “eighteen Black athletes who represented the United States in the 1936 Olympics — triple the number who had competed for the United States in the 1932 Los Angeles Games. African Americans dominated the popular track and field events, and in the end, Black athletes brought home 14 medals, nearly one-fourth of the 56 medals awarded the U.S. team in all events. Many American journalists hailed the victories of Jesse Owens and other Blacks as a blow to the Nazi myth of Aryan supremacy. However, the continuing social and economic discrimination the Black medalists faced upon returning home underscored the irony of their victory in racist Germany. In this video, athlete John Woodruff, Professor David Wiggins, Professor Clayborne Carson, and author Jeremy Schaap reflect on the history of black athletes in American sports and the relevance of their achievements at the 1936 Olympics.”



The nazi olympics: African-american athletes (part 1). . (2008, -08-14).[Video/DVD] Retrieved from

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