BLACK VOICES
02/20/2013 03:31 pm ET

Jesse Owens: Black History Photo Of The Day

A picture is certainly worth a thousand words. What better way to celebrate Black History Month than by taking a moment to acknowledge the snapshots of time that represent the struggle and triumph of African-Americans through the years?

As part of our Black History Month coverage, we will be featuring one photo a day that honors years of groundbreaking achievements within the black community. These photos bring tears to our eyes, instill pride in our hearts and motivate us to carry on the legacy of strength and perseverance.

Today's photo was taken on September 3, 1936, showing parade goers welcoming Olympian Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals that year in Berlin, upon his return to the states. The track and field star took home the highest honor in the 100-meter race, 200-meter race, long jump and 4x100-meter relay, becoming the most successful athlete at the summer Olympics that year.

However, Owens' accomplishment transcended sports, making a political statement. On the cusp of World War II in a country bustling with Nazism, the athlete crushed Hitler's theory of the superiority of the Aryan race.

But the prejudice wasn't exclusively overseas, a fact Owens pointed out during an interview.

"When I came back to my native country, after all the stories about Hitler, I couldn't ride in the front of the bus," Owens said. "I had to go to the back door. I couldn't live where I wanted. I wasn't invited to shake hands with Hitler, but I wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President, either."

Take a look at the photo and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

jesse owens

PHOTO GALLERIES
Black History Month Photos

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