‘Olympic Pride, American Prejudice’ directed by Deborah Riley Draper had an amazing debut.
Throughout history, very few black people’s success has been acknowledged. Does that mean Black people simply did less? If you think the answer is “No,” then that begs the question: why do we ignore the positive contribution of Black people to our world today?
There is no mistake that the modern American youths are largely influenced by Black culture. American sports are dominated mostly by Black people. But yet, the country downplays the achievements of these individuals.
A new film directed by Deborah Riley Draper, who directed the award-winning documentary, ‘Versailles ’73 American Runway Revolution’ details the life and achievement of 17 forgotten black Olympians in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. At the time, Germany was under Hitler’s rule but despite the racial tensions these extraordinary individuals performed amazingly well and won medals.
Draper cited a lot of problems that arose as she was trying to gather the facts about these 17 individuals. She said some of these people’s children did not even know of their parent’s accomplishments, in fact out of the 18 Black people who performed in the Olympics at that time, only one of them is wildly remembered: Jesse Owens. She says this movie is about the other forgotten 17 Olympians. The story is narrated by Blair Underwood. It also features some relatives of the 17 Olympians.
“What we really wanted to show was as powerful as this moment became particularly around the world, we didn’t respect this moment in this country in the manner that we should,” Draper stated, referring to the role of “American prejudice” noted in the documentary’s title. “We kind of swept it to the side. However, as much as we swept it to the side, these 17 people impacted every athlete that you see ever,” Draper added.
No one can tell our history better but ourselves. We encourage first all Black people to learn about our own history. It’s our pride, dignity, greatness. White people always try to deemphasize the merits and downplay the importance of achievements by Black people.
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