One of the most significant months of our calendar year is February. A month for lovers, for groundhogs, for presidents, for Fat Tuesdays andAsh Wednesdays. Most notably, February is a month where we focus on black history, touching upon stories of great importance in our country’s progression and growth and focusing on people of African descent (and, frankly, focusing on an unnecessarily segregated part of human history).
This February’s Black History Month comes loaded with trailers of a new film, RACE. Cleverly titled, the biopic focuses on Jesse Owens’ significance in the 1936 Olympic games, accompanied by the true subtext; racial equality. The true story of Jesse Owens is as captivating as it is inspiring. A 1936 Olympic hopeful, Mr. Owens was urged not to attend the games due to racial divide in Germany; divide that would soon-after lead to atrocity. Owens attended anyway and was constantly escorted by security due to the influx of German threats he was receiving. Yet, upon the start of the games, Owens silenced the elitist-Aryans with 4 (four) gold medals; something never before accomplished by an Olympian during a single olympic games. Owens not only silenced Hitler but caused him to vanish from the stands, and caused much of Europe to suddenly question what millions of people had come to believe as truth. On a world stage, against all odds, Jesse Owens did what everyone said could not be done, and did so with the utmost class, with his chin up, and with a warming smile. Furthermore, the very people that believed he was unequal later celebrated him from the stands, cheered his name, and admired him and all his talent and grace. Owens’ competitors even approached him later in the games seeking advice in their shared events. Knowing nothing but class, Jesse Owens extended his hands, even helping some German competitors achieve times and distances that seemed previously impossible. In doing so, he not only defied non-believers worldwide, but he earned the respect and friendship of men who had previously discriminated against him.
The story of Jesse Owens is one immeasurably full of morals. Regardless where you exist in the human hierarchy of can and cannot, you must first believe that YOU CAN….that the impossible is possible. No one on this earth has ever accomplished anything without first and foremost believing they could. This applies to all elements of life: learning a new skill, executing an idea, earning a promotion, starting your own company, etc. There will always be those that say “you can’t,” and those same people will one day celebrate and admire your endeavors as they did Jesse Owens’.
“Perhaps the greatest and most famous athlete in track and field history.”
- Frank Litsky (1980), New York Times
St. Louis advertising agency Cfx Inc. and its owners Chris Frank andMegan Frank actively strive to make sure their company is one that promotes an environment of can and will, of equality and fairness. Whether a person, a company, or simply an idea, let stories like Jesse Owens and Chris Frank’s be your inspiration to do what “can’t be done.” Find your stride, never mind the competition, look ahead, and keep youreyes on the prize.