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Hidden History: Jesse Owens Museum in Alabama stands as monument to overcoming adversity

Black History Month

OAKVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Jesse Owens’ accomplishments were monumental in the 20th Century, but the impact that this Alabama native had on the sporting world is still felt today, decades after his death. 

The Owens property in Oakville, Alabama played host to the childhoods of one of the most famous athletes in the world.  The famed track and field star earned four gold medals in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

The rolling, windy hills of Lawrence County made for a difficult early life for Owens, but on the same piece of land now sits a museum, named in his honor. It’s a place where Alabama’s hidden history sits off the beaten path. 

Dedicated in 1996, the museum displays the history of Owens’s life for all to see. The museum attracts thousands of visitors every year, many not realizing he was born right here in Alabama.

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African American History Month Website
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society. []

Building Black History
Read about the Library of Congress's partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture to bring a newly-found treasure of African-American history to light. Plus: finding exploring family histories, celebrating Frederick Douglass' birthday, hearing the voices of slavery online, and more. [Building Black History PDF]

A People's Journey, A Nation's Story
Take a digital visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. Explore collections, exhibits, stories, blogs, Many Lenses, initiatives and more.  [NMAAHC.SI.EDU]

February is Black History Month

The African American experience is as old and rich as America itself.  But much of this history is only known to a few, or even overlooked entirely.  Many of the pitched battles for equality are woven into the fabric of our small cities and towns but are not known to the rest of the country.  Join us as we uncover the heroes of the movement and share their stories that made it all possible.  You will hear from those who risked it all, their struggles and their triumphs as they fought for justice.  These stories are dedicated to the spirit of the Black community and its Hidden History.