In celebration of Black History Month, we're excited to share the family story of Flossmoor resident, Dr. Daria Brooks Terrell, who is the proud daughter of 1936 Olympian John Brooks. John Brooks and 17 other African Americans, including the famed Jesse Owens, competed at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Dr. Terrell’s father, John Brooks, was a graduate of the University of Chicago, the 1933 national champion in long jump, and a University of Chicago Hall of Fame inductee. In 1936, John Brooks and 17 other African American athletes earned spots on the U.S. Olympic team competing in Nazi Germany. Mr. Brooks took 7th in the long jump at the 1936 Olympics.
Despite their accomplishments, when the 1936 Olympic team returned to the US, they were not extended the invitation to visit the White House by President Roosevelt that other teammates received.
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of the 1936 Olympics, on September 29, 2016, Dr. Terrell, her mother Wannetta Brooks, and descendants of the other African American 1936 Olympians were invited to the White House. They were welcomed by President and Mrs. Obama and Vice-President Biden. The honor of representing her father in the White House while occupied by the first African-American President, and the acknowledgement of the accomplishments of these dedicated but unappreciated heroes, created a very treasured memory. Mr. Brooks passed away in 1990.
The documentary Olympic Pride, American Prejudice is available on Amazon Prime.