Collaboration to present ‘Olympic Pride, American Prejudice’

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THE ARCHIVAL PHOTO above is taken from the film “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” by writer/director Deborah Riley Draper, which will be presented at the DuSable Museum in conjunction with the museum’s newest exhibit “Freedom, Resistance and the Journey Toward Equality.” (Photo Credit: Coffee Bluff Pictures)

The New 411

By Raymond Ward, Chicago Crusader

The DuSable Museum of African American History and Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (IHMEC) will host the Exclusive VIP Chicago Work In Progress Screenings of “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” on Thursday, February 25 & Friday, February 26 at the DuSable Museum, and Sunday, February 28 at IHMEC.

“Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” is a feature length documentary, narrated by award-winning actor Blair Underwood and set in the strained and turbulent atmosphere of a racially divided 1930’s America, torn between boycotting Hitler’s Olympics or participating in the Third Reich’s grandest affair. The film follows 16 men and two women before, during and after their heroic turn at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin. The athletes represented a country that considered them second-class citizens and competed in a country that rolled out the red carpet in spite of an undercurrent of Aryan superiority and antisemitism.

They carried the weight of a race on their shoulders and stood tall in the middle of a political firestorm as Black America debated what role these Black athletes should have in the highly charged Boycott debate. They made the team, they traveled to Berlin, and they did the unexpected with grace and dignity. Their presence on the world stage is a seminal precursor to the Civil Rights Movement.

The athletes experienced things that they were not expecting – applause, warm welcomes, integrated Olympic villages and the respect of their competitors. They were world heroes yet returned home to a short-lived glory. This story is complicated. This story is triumphant but unheralded. This story of young Black men and women finding their place in Jim Crow America is as relevant today as it was almost 80 years ago.

Writer/Director Deborah Riley Draper is a marketing authority and award-winning filmmaker. Her debut film “Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution” was heralded by New York Times and Los Angeles Times film critics.

The schedule and prices for the Exclusive VIP Chicago Work In Progress Screenings of “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” is as follows:

Thursday, February 25, 2016 -6:00 PM

DuSable Museum of African American History

740 East 56th Place – Chicago, Illinois

$150 per person includes Reception and Post Screening talk with

Director Deborah Riley Draper and Narrator/Producer Blair

Underwood.

Friday, February 26, 2016 – 7:00 PM

DuSable Museum of African American History

740 East 56th Place – Chicago, Illinois

$15 General Admission/$10 DuSable Museum Members

Sunday, February 28, 2016 – 1:30 PM

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

9603 Woods Drive – Skokie, Illinois

$15 General Admission/$10 IHMEC Members

The Exclusive VIP Chicago Work In Progress Screenings of “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” at the DuSable Museum are presented in conjunction with The DuSable Museum’s newest exhibition, “Freedom, Resistance and the Journey Toward Equality” and made possible by: The Magellan Corporation, Chicago Teachers Union Foundation, The Irving Harris Foundation, Mr. Harry E. Griffin, and United Airlines, the Official Airline of The DuSable Museum. The DuSable Museum of African American History gratefully acknowledges the Chicago Park District’s generous support of the Museum and the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

The Exclusive VIP Chicago Work In Progress Screening of “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” at the Illinois Holocaust Museum is presented in conjunction with the special exhibition, “The Nazi Olympics: Berlin,” 1936. The exhibition coincides with the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 80th anniversary of the 1936 Games, when Hitler exploited the Games to promote the Nazi ideal of racial supremacy on a world stage. “Nazi Olympics” features athletes who were barred because of their ethnic heritage, or who, like Jesse Owens, competed and won, challenging Hitler’s “master race” dogma.

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