The family of Olympic track and field legend Jesse Owens is one step closer in their fight to once again rename a Chicago school after him.

A local school council unanimously voted on Wednesday for Samuel Gompers Elementary to be changed back to Jesse Owens Community Academy.

The building had been named after Owens since 1980, and the family called the change “disrespectful.”

From Huffington Post:


The daughters of Owens had fought to keep their father’s legacy alive¬†despite the building formerly named Jesse Owens Community Academy in West Pullman was renamed Samuel Gompers Elementary, after the district voted to shutter Owens and consolidate the two schools…the matter¬†will next be considered by the Board of Education at its Oct. 23 meeting, the Chicago Tribune reports. Should the board approve the change, Owens’ name will officially return to the school.

Read more at Huffington Post


Owens’ daughter Gloria Owens Hemphill told CBS Chicago that her dad would “be very pleased to have his name attached to something that serves kids.”

In addition to the school, Ohio State University dedicated a dormitory to Jesse Owens, fully restoring it into a living museum.

Kudos to the Owens family for protecting their father’s legacy!

Thoughts on the name change?

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