Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cleveland schools graduate and Olympic track star Jesse Owens to be honored July 30 with a wall painting by Cleveland School of the Arts students at the Lonnie Burten Recreation Center in Cleveland, the ribbon cutting ceremony with city officials and school staff is at 11:30 am.... By Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's leader in Black digital news

From the Metro Desk of Cleveland Urban News. Com and the Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog. Tel: 216-659-0473. Email:  ( / ( 
The late Jesse Owens

CLEVELAND, Ohio– The legacy of Jesse Owens, the local Cleveland track star who won four gold metals at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games and was a graduate of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, is being honored and memorialized by Cleveland School of the Arts (CSA) students with a mural and an 11:30 am ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, July 30 at the Lonnie Burten Recreation Center on the city' east side. City officials and CSA administrators and staff will also be in attendance, organizers said. For more information contact Kim Moss of the Owens Group by email at,  and by phone at 216-291-0500 / or 216-272-3818.

During the months of February through June, the students participated in an artistic adventure, which culminated  in a full size mural for placement at the Lonnie Burten Recreation Center.

The late Lonnie Burten, a former Cleveland councilman
The  late Lonnie Burten was a  Cleveland
councilman in Ward 5 on the largely Black
 east side in the the Central area, one of the city's  and the nation's poorest communities, a ward now led by Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, who succeeded Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, the city's third Black mayor.

Burten died suddenly of a heart attack in 1984 at the age of 40 and Jackson was elected in 1989 to replaced him on city council, winning several elections thereafter, and ultimately becoming council president before he ousted then mayor Jane Campbell in a non- partisan election runoff in 2005.

Students at CSA collaborated to design the mural, which is a wall painting design. The work of art is based primarily on their interpretation of Owens' story.

The mural was brought to life by the students with the help of CSA teacher Danny Carver.

Mr. Carver guided the students in awakening their imagination to create a mural that reflects both the local tie of Owens, and his Olympic triumph.

Carver said that it has been an honor to educate and help the students learn and recreate the legacy of Jesse Owens, who died in 1980 after a battle with cancer.

"He’s been a role model to the community for many years and I am proud to be a part of continuing his legacy in his roots," said Carver of Owens, who was Black, like Owens.

With time and dedication, Owens' story came alive and was captured by the collaborative design.

The son of a sharecropper and grandson of a slave, Jesse Owens' stunning achievement of being the first American to win four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany made him an unforgettable part of world history.

Nicknamed 'The Buckeye Bullet,' Owens began his career  in Cleveland at East Technical High School, which is located right across from the newly painted mural. He set two high school world records and tied another, in addition to winning all of the major track events, and the Ohio State Championship for three consecutive years. Though he attended the Ohio State University, he did not finish college.

Owens became a role model during a time of deep-rooted segregation. He affirmed that individual excellence distinguishes an individual as the entire world took note of his remarkable achievement, one which remains without precedence. His legacy remains strong, not only throughout Cleveland and the state of Ohio, but across the nation.

The New York Times hailed Owens as "perhaps the greatest and most famous athlete in track and field history.”

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