Synopsis: JESSE OWENS tells the incredible story of the most famous athlete of his time. Owens’ stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world, even as it infuriated the Nazis. Despite the racial slurs he endured, Owens’ grace and athleticism rallied crowds across the globe. But when the four-time gold medalist returned home, he could not even ride in the front of a bus. The story of a man who triumphed over adversity to become a hero and world champion, JESSE OWENS is also about the elusive, fleeting quality of fame and the way Americans idolize athletes when they suit our purpose and forget them once they don’t
Laurens Grant: Laurens Grant is a multi-Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker whose credits include serving as co-producer for two ground-breaking four-hour series for PBS: the recently released Latin Music USA: The Chicano Wave and the Emmy-winning Slavery and the Making of America: Seeds of Destruction. Grant was also coordinating producer for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE’s The Murder of Emmett Till, which was honored with a Sundance Jury Award, Primetime Emmy and a Peabody Award for Best Documentary. The U.S. Department of Justice re-opened the Emmett Till murder case in part due to the film’s previously unpublished eyewitness accounts and research. Grant has produced and directed films for A&E and The History Channel, and has directed projects in Africa, Latin America, Europe, and in America’s inner city high schools. Prior to her work in documentary film, she worked as a foreign correspondent, heading up the Reuters bureau in Panama. She has written about Latin America for Newsweek, the Miami Herald, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and The San Francisco Examiner. Grant is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Guest: Laurens Grant