Jesse Owens: His 21st Century Legacy

Jesse Owens 2

Dr. Robert A. Bennett III is the Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male at The Ohio State University, which aims to improve retention and graduation rates among African American males. The BNRC is a ground breaking initiative which has consulted with scores of universities across the country on meaningful intervention strategies. A native of Decatur, Georgia, Bennett graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with honors, and was also a member of the football team. He earned his Master of Arts degree and Doctor of Philosophy in History from The Ohio State University. During his time at Ohio State, he has also worked with the Student Athlete Support Services Office and the Study Abroad office. His research interests are at-risk students, 20th century American history, first-generation college students, and international education. He has publications in Racism in College Athletics, The Journal of African American History, Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education, and the Journal of Sport History. Bennett is lead editor for Black Males and Intercollegiate Athletics: An Exploration of Problems and Solutions.

Dr. Harry Edwards is professor emeritus in the Department of Sociology at the University of California – Berkeley. He pioneered the subdomain of the Sociology of Sport, literally writing the book on the subject. He is also the author of “Revolt of the Black Athlete,” and “The Struggle that Must Be: An Autobiography” among other publications. Edwards was the architect of the Olympic Project for Human Rights, which begot the black power salute by sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Edwards has also consulted with the NFL, NBA and MLB on issues associated with minority representation among athletes, coaches, front office executive and ownership. Edwards is a native of E. St. Louis, Illinois and a three sport athlete in basketball, football and discus. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from San Jose State University and his Masters and Doctorate from Cornell University. The Texas Program in Sports and Media is honored to have him as a Distinguished Fellow and host the Dr. Harry Edwards Lecture on Sport and American Culture.

This event was presented in conjunction with the campus exhibition of The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936, jointly hosted by the Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sport and TPSM. UT-Austin’s John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies is the co-sponsor for this Owens-focused event. Drs. Bennett and Edwards spoke at 4 pm on November 10 in GWB 2.206.