Guided Primary Source Analysis: Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens

What does the image above make you think about? What sense of this man, Jesse Owens, do you get from this picture? Next, review the bibliographic record for this photograph. What more did you learn?

Now read this short life history of Jesse Owens created in 1939. What do you learn about him from this source? What more do you learn from this legislation that became law in 1988? What kind of person is Jesse Owens?

Use what you have learned about Jesse Owens from these primary sources and imagine that you are either Owens or a person in the crowd in the picture above. Fill out a sensory exploration chart to imagine what you, as Owens or as a spectator, are seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, and tasting in this moment. Then use the list of words you generated to write a poem to accompany this picture.

What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know!

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