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Word Count: 390
Jesse Owens was a gifted athlete and surprisingly a gifted writer as well He is far above the stereotypical dumb jock as is evident from the processes of thought he requires you to take in order to keep up with him literarily As all writers should Owens had a specific purpose to convey in writing this Open Letter to a Young Negro If the reader was quick to draw conclusions he may assume that Owens was writing to tell of his impressive and numerous Olympic attempts and victories This is not the case In the beginning of the letter Owens stated very plainly that he had won the gold medal in the broad jump event If this letter were intended to entertain with Olympic stories he would have left the reader hanging and left an element of surprise or suspense instead of giving away the ending at the beginning of the story Olympic competition is no more than an exposition to Owens letter The message he is trying to communicate is that two people dont have to share much more than humanity in order to establish a strong loving and lasting bond Jesse Owens was a black man in a time when racism declared blacks as inferior Even white men under Hitlers rule were judged and discriminated against by superficial standards such as hair and eye color Bigotry was widespread and took many forms In the beginning of the letter Luz Long is portrayed as Owens archrival Long was Hitlers prize athlete Owens only real competition There was a good chance of Long taking the gold Owens knew this and spent a great deal of grief over it But not only was Luz Long Hitlers favorite athlete he was the epitome of Hitlers supreme Aryan being Owens describes Long as tall perfectly built blonde-haired and blue-eyed This meant that Owens and Long were on completely different ends of the discriminatory spectrum Owens was hated by
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